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20 Feb, 2024 13:24

‘Israel’ scribbled out in baby’s birth certificate in UK

A probe has been launched into the incident, Home Secretary James Cleverly said
‘Israel’ scribbled out in baby’s birth certificate in UK

Activists have demanded action from the UK Home Office after a birth certificate was apparently returned to a baby’s parents with the word ‘Israel’ scribbled out.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism, which tracks hate crime against Jewish people in Britain, issued a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday describing the incident.

According to the group, Israeli-born parents sent the birth certificate of their six-month-old daughter to the Home Office two weeks ago as they applied for a UK passport for their child.

When the papers were returned, the birth certificate had been defaced, with the document “ripped” and “the word ‘Israel’ scribbled out” in the section with information about the baby’s father, the group wrote. It added a photo of the apparent damage.

“The parents are understandably very concerned about this incident,” the Campaign Against Antisemitism said, calling on the Home Office to look into the case. “Confidence in the authorities is at painfully low levels and must be restored.” 

The message did not go unnoticed by British Home Secretary James Cleverly, who wrote in the comments that the incident will be “urgently investigated” and that “appropriate action” will be taken.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism thanked Cleverly for his “swift response,” adding that it would await the results of the inquiry.

The incident comes after the Community Security Trust (CST), which provides safety advice to the Jewish community in the UK, reported an all-time high in anti-Semitic incidents in Britain since Israel launched its military operation in Gaza.

The CST said last week that there were 4,103 cases of threats, hate speech, violence, and damage to Jewish property in the UK in 2023, up from 1,662 in the previous year.

The death toll from Israel’s airstrikes and ground offensive in Gaza has reached 29,195 people, with 69,170 others being wounded, according to the latest data from the health ministry in the Palestinian enclave. The IDF launched its military operation in Gaza in response to an incursion into Israel by Hamas, in which around 1,200 people were killed and some 240 taken hostage.