Police investigating anti-Semitic abuse targeted at BBC TV Chief

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Police investigating anti-Semitic abuse targeted at BBC TV Chief

Police are investigating anti-Semitic abuse targeting BBC television chief Danny Cohen.

Danny Cohen
Danny Cohen

The 40-year-old revealed to the Jewish News he called in officers after receiving a hateful email at the height of the conflict between Israel and Hamas last summer.

It came several months before Cohen spoke out, during a festival in Jerusalem, about how he had “never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the UK” as he has over the past year and even voiced doubts over whether the community has a long-term home in Britain.

“Police were informed on Friday 8 August 2014 to an allegation of racial harassment against a 40 year old man,” said a police statement.

“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.”

No arrests have been made but enquiries are continuing, officers said. Cohen also told the Jewish News he had received “quite a lot of” online abuse since his comments in December.

“The sort of anti-Semitic comments Jewish people in public life tend to get on social media.”

The Community security Trust lat week said 2014 saw a record number of more than 1,160 anti-Semitic incidents in the UK – one fifth of which related to abuse or threats on social media.

On Monday, the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism called for social media giants to do more to tackle hate online and urged the CPS to investigate whether those peddling hate could be taken offline.

Although he was surprised by the impact of his comments on anti-Semitism, Cohen said he doesn’t have any regrets making them.

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

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