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February 11, 2015 2:24 pm

UK Police Investigate Antisemitic Hate Mail Sent to Jewish BBC Executive

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BBC executive Danny Cohen said he received several antisemitic emails last year. Photo: Twitter

British police are investigating a hateful antisemitic email sent to a prominent Jewish executive at the BBC.

Danny Cohen, the BBC’s television chief, received the email at the height of the summer 2014 war between Israel and the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip. A police statement confirmed that they “were informed on Friday 8 August 2014 to an allegation of racial harassment against a 40 year old man,” the Jewish News reported.

“One anti-Semitic email was sent to the victim’s work email address. Detectives from CID in Camden investigated. The email originated from an Internet Service Provider (ISP) based in Switzerland,” the police statement disclosed.

Cohen alerted the police to the email “several months” before he delivered a speech at the Cinematheque in Jerusalem in which he admitted to having “never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the UK,” and also questioned whether there was a long-term future for the Jewish community in Britain.

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Cohen also told the Jewish News he had received “quite a lot of” online abuse since his comments in December. “The sort of antisemitic comments Jewish people get in public life tend to get on social media,” he said.

On Monday, the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism called for social media giants to do more to tackle hate online, urging the country’s Crown Prosecution Service to investigate whether those peddling hate could be taken offline.

Although he was surprised by the impact of his comments on antisemitism, Cohen said he didn’t have any regrets making them.

He said: “It’s what I think. I think it’s important to raise the issue of antisemitism and its growth so I don’t regret saying it. Raising awareness is a valuable thing.”

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