The two-year study, What’s Changed About Being Jewish in Scotland, was commissioned by the Scottish Government and carried out by The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC).The responses are predictably depressing.
One Jewish man in his 60s, living in Glasgow, said: “When people are murdered just because they shop in a kosher deli in Paris or attend a batmitzvah in Copenhagen, it’s natural for everyone who goes to the equivalent venues in Scotland to think that it could just as easily have been a Glasgow deli or an Edinburgh batmitzvah, and to change their behaviour.The threat is indeed real. And Scotland has already witnessed Muslim terror.
“It’s not paranoid to be fearful when the threat is real.”
The SNP has a Friends of Palestine group but is the only major British party not to have a Friends of Israel group, while many SNP MPs and MSPs are staunch supporters of the Palestinian cause.And, as is the case across Europe, there are thoughts of leaving.
Deputy leadership candidate Tommy Sheppard is among those calling for a boycott of Israeli goods and was recently accused of promoting a group linked to Hamas.
One Israeli man in his 30s, living in Edinburgh, said: “With members of the parliament supporting BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) and other bodies that support an embargo on Israel, one day Jewish blood will be spilled in Scotland, and the Scottish Parliament will be directly responsible for not stopping the spread of anti-Semitism.”
And an Edinburgh woman in her 30s said she had been “upset and unnerved” after receiving an “aggressively worded” email from her local MP after she challenged him over Gaza.
She added: “I began to fear that anti-Semitism was being legitimised by such attitudes within Government. It is incredible that police had to attend our synagogue to reassure us of their support at that time.”
Many Jews are now considering leaving Scotland, with one woman in Glasgow even comparing the current mood to Germany in the 1930s.In contrast to the SNP though, the Scottish Tories are paying a visit to Israel.
A group of Conservative members of the Scottish Parliament are visiting Israel this week as part of the first ever delegation of its kind.
The trip follows a successful election in May 2016 for the Party in Scotland, which saw them leapfrog Labour as the second party in the Scottish parliament, now with 31 seats.