A JEWISH leader has voiced concern over a rise in anti-semitism in the UK after MPs were told that attacks have doubled in a decade.

The war in the Middle East and a growing acceptance of anti-semitism is behind the increase in attacks on Jews, according to a report from an all-party parliamentary inquiry.

Since January there have been 73 anti-semitic assaults, as well as two incidents of "extreme violence".

In all there have been 402 incidents so far including vandalism and abusive behaviour, compared to 455 in the whole of last year.

The tally is on course to more than double the count in 1996.

Ten years ago just 228 anti-semitic incidents were recorded. MPs heard that fewer than one in ten resulted in prosecution.

Earlier this year the Daily Echo revealed how the number of racist incidents in Dorset had risen by 56 per cent.

Rabbi Neil Amswych from Bournemouth Reform Synagogue said: "I'm concerned by the rise in attacks on Jews but not surprised.

"The general acceptance of anti-semitism is rising in everyday speech. When there are problems in the Middle East, anti-semitism always increases, whether or not Israel is causing something or responding to it.

"However, it is positive that society in general and politicians are becoming much more aware of the difficulties we have been facing for years. In an advanced country such as ours it is about time we responded to this and put it on the agenda."

He added: "Police in Bournemouth take anti-semitism very seriously.

"The Jewish community is aware this is a potentially very difficult time and we have to be careful. This is why we have tight security at the synagogue.

"But hopefully, by working with the police and local communities, we will try our best to combat it."