Jewish people in Scotland report rising levels of anti-Semitism and increasingly fear a terrorist shooting like the attacks in Paris or Copenhagen.
A damning new report has found that public attitudes have changed dramatically in the past two years, with many Scots now scared to reveal their Jewish identity.
Disturbingly, some second or third generation Holocaust survivors even compared modern Scotland with Germany in the 1930s due to the growing sense that Jewish people are not safe or welcome here.
The study blames “unbalanced political comment”, a lack of confidence in the police and widespread anti-Israel sentiment for the rapidly worsening situation.
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 barmitzvah 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 barmitzvah, and to change their behavior.
“It’s not paranoid to be fearful when the threat is real.”
Another man in his 30s, living in Edinburgh, said: “I have come to realize that identifying myself as a Jewish Israeli, or just identifying my wife as Jewish or our house as one where Jewish people live, might pose a risk to our lives and our property.”
A woman, in her 50s living in the Highlands, asked: “Is it safe to advertise a Jewish event in a local newspaper?”
Identifying myself as a Jewish might pose a risk to our lives
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).
Director Ephraim Borowski said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was trying to make Jewish people in Scotland feel safe but the report questions the lack of support from some in her party.
There were concerns about the rise in nationalism, with one Glasgow man in his 50s saying the “indyref [was] encouraging nationalists feeling it was acceptable to be anti-Semitic.”