‘My grandmothers’ passports were stamped Juden and they ended up in Bergen-Belsen – now my baby’s has been marked’, say the Jewish parents targeted by Passport Office workers. ‘It is a warning sign’

There is a new, second ­security camera facing the door of Israel and Dorin’s cosy North London home.

The first went up shortly after they returned from a family holiday to Jerusalem that coincided with the October 7 massacre, a truly terrifying experience that saw them ­cowering in a safe room with their three young children.

Knowing from bitter experience that whenever there is tension in the Middle East that Jews are likely to be targeted, back in London, the couple quickly moved to protect ­themselves and their three children.

The extra layer of security, however, came only this week after the British-Israeli couple — and their darling five-month-old baby daughter Ronnie, all smiles and chuckles when I visit them at home — suddenly found ­themselves on the frontline of the war against anti-Semitism.

Shockingly, it emerged little Ronnie’s birth certificate had been defaced by a Home Office employee after being submitted for her first passport application. 

Israel and Dorin with their three children Ella, left, Adiel and Ronnie 

When the certificate was returned in the post, her parents were ­distraught to see that her father’s place of birth — Israel — had been crossed out and the document ripped.

The impact on them has been seismic. Put simply, they no longer feel safe — even here, in their peaceful London suburb.

‘My heart beats a little faster each time the doorbell goes,’ admits Dorin, 29, talking for the first time about their ordeal and revealing that she now also carries a self-defence spray in her handbag. ‘I check and check again who it is before I open the door.’

Her husband, meanwhile, admits he fears a ‘Molotov cocktail’ could be thrown through their window as revenge for speaking out.

Indeed, so intense are their concerns that they could be targeted the Mail is withholding their surname from this interview.

Their brave disclosures — in a tense week that saw MPs express concerns that they could be attacked over a Gaza ­ceasefire vote, and the Hamas slogan ‘From the River to the Sea’ projected onto Big Ben — has caused a furore about the growing levels of anti-Semitism in the UK.

Home Secretary James Cleverly attempted to calm matters on Wednesday, saying ‘some staff’ members of Sopra Steria — a Paris-based company contracted to process British passports — had been ­suspended pending an investigation.

But Dorin and Israel are still justifiably on edge. After all, when you apply for a ­passport each and every personal family detail is disclosed.

If such private details are in the hands of such seemingly committed anti-Semites, how safe can this Jewish family be, even in leafy area?

‘They have our names, our address, our ages — they know practically everything except my waist size,’ says Israel, 32, the owner of a drain engineering company. ‘They are ­handling the most sensitive information and they don’t appear to be good people.’

Ronnie’s birth certificate had been defaced by a Home Office employee after being submitted for her first passport application. When the certificate was returned, her parents found that her father’s place of birth — Israel — had been crossed out and the document ripped

Ronnie’s birth certificate had been defaced by a Home Office employee after being submitted for her first passport application. When the certificate was returned, her parents found that her father’s place of birth — Israel — had been crossed out and the document ripped

For as the couple reflect, while Israel is a war zone, the UK feels menacing to Jews in a different, but no less palpable, way.

‘What happened to us, and all the things that are going on, has made me wonder whether we have a future here — whether our children do,’ he continues. ‘The people singing “From the River to the Sea” down the streets and in our universities might one day be our leaders.’

Indeed, just a few weeks ago, Dorin saw a schoolboy on her street ­tearing down posters begging for the release of one of the hostages from October 7.

Shockingly, the posters were of nine-month-old Kfir Bibas, the youngest hostage to be seized by Hamas, whose fate remains unknown.

‘I asked what the boy was doing and he just shouted “Free Palestine”,’ she says. ‘This beautiful baby has been kidnapped by terrorists. Where did people get this hate from?

‘There is a whole new generation being schooled in anti-Semitism. They don’t want us here; they don’t want us there; they don’t want us to exist. We are a people who try to fit in. We aren’t criminals, and this hatred follows us.’

Both parents look down at their smiling baby, utterly unaware of the headlines her birth certificate has created around the world.

‘She’s a drama queen and she doesn’t even know it,’ smiles Israel lovingly, as he plants a kiss on her head.

But as he and Dorin discuss in detail what happened, his face becomes grim; at points, they both become emotional.

The story started two weeks ago when they sent off Ronnie’s birth certificate for her first passport. 

Attached to the back of it was ­something called an ‘apostille certificate’ which requires a lawyer’s ­certification, and is necessary for dual nationals to prove the signature and stamp of any UK document is genuine — something Ronnie would need if she also gets an Israeli passport.

Her first British passport arrived last week. Then, a few days later, her birth certificate was returned. The word Israel is on it three times, as place of birth for both parents, and as her father’s name. Her father’s place of birth had been furiously crossed out. As for the tear, it was clearly intentional.

‘When I saw the rip I thought, “Could this have happened by ­accident?”’ says Dorin. ‘But it is not a small cut. And when I turned it over, I saw that it went through the apostille [too]. And then I realised that the word Israel had been crossed out.

‘Then I became scared; we know there have been many instances of anti-Semitism and then it comes through my letterbox, into my home. How can anyone have so much of a problem with us that they would do this to a baby — not even a child but a baby?’

The impact on the family has been seismic. Put simply, they no longer feel safe - even living in their peaceful London suburb

The impact on the family has been seismic. Put simply, they no longer feel safe – even living in their peaceful London suburb

She called Israel who was at work. ‘I immediately came home,’ he recalls. ‘I felt killed from the inside. How could this happen?’

Like many Jews since October 7, Israel is on a WhatsApp group set up to help those who experience anti-Semitism, as well as to give out information about vigils for the dead of October 7 and the hostages (Jewish demonstrations are advertised mainly in secrecy and at the last-minute because of terror threats).

On it, he wrote in Hebrew: ‘Is there a lawyer on here who can help? We got my daughter’s documents back from the Home Office and they crossed out the bit talking about Israel.’

A fellow group member put him in touch with the charity Campaign Against Antisemitism, who tweeted about his experience.

Suddenly, Israel and Dorin found themselves discussed on television shows and in newspapers.

‘At first, I didn’t really want my name mentioned but the people from the campaign group said, “This is the story of every Jewish man and woman in this country”.

‘We all agreed something needs to be changed; at the very least ­someone in that position needs to be checked out to ensure they don’t hold dangerous values. That is not the Britain we know.’

Israel says he is now considering suing Sopra Steria for breach of ­contract, saying that, just as we ­citizens pledge to look after these documents, so should the people we trust them to.

Their eight-year-old son and six-year-old-daughter — who they are not naming — are unaware of the events, but on Wednesday were in the newsagent with their dad when they saw their parents’ pictures on the front page of some of the papers.

‘They asked why, and we just laughed and said it was something silly,’ says Israel. ‘We will tell them what happened, but when they are older.’

Before all this, every day life for the family was utterly conventional: their daughter is gymnastics mad, so they spend their time ferrying her to lessons, while their Manchester City supporting son — despite being just eight — loves Harry Potter so much he has read all the books three times. Sundays sees them go enjoying long family walks.

For Dorin and Israel, their ­daughter’s defaced birth certificate is nothing less than a punch in the stomach from a country they fell in love with when they moved here ten years ago — a country which, Israel says, helped his Holocaust survivor grandparents in their escape from a concentration camp.

One of his grandmothers Rachel Erlanger-Cohen, who was captured by the Nazis in Holland, was freed from Bergen-Belsen by the British in April 1945 and then made her way to the then British-controlled Palestine.

His other grandmother, Bitja Weinberger-Goldschmidt, whose father was a German diplomat who lived in Holland, was saved in an unusual and little-known 1944 deal called Transport 222 in which German PoWs in British-controlled Palestine were exchanged for 120 Dutch Jews in camps.

Bitja, who was just six, was the youngest on the train out and ­travelled without her parents who, thankfully, survived and found her when the war ended.

‘The reason I was born in Israel is because my grandparents went there after the Holocaust,’ says Israel emotionally. ‘They knew it was the only place safe for Jewish people — that has become my sin, to be born there.

‘Both my grandmothers were in Holland and had passports which were stamped with the word ‘Judah’ and ended up in Bergen-Belsen.

‘Now my baby’s document has also been marked. Of course, this is nothing like what my grandparents went through, but it is a warning sign.’

And yet the couple still speak warmly about the country they chose to make their home.

Both were brought up in ultra-Orthodox households; Israel in Jerusalem and Dorin in the North of Israel. After meeting as teenagers, they left Israel for adventure as a young married couple, travelling first to Ukraine where they worked as cooks.

It was there they first met British people. ‘They were so happy and charming we thought we should visit,’ says Dorin.

They came for a holiday and decided to stay for two years. Ten years later, they consider it home.

Still religious, but not ultra-Orthodox, they have a large community of friends. They loved ‘­British manners’ and ‘the peace’ says Dorin, who became a British citizen several years ago.

Israel, a dual Israeli and Swiss national, nods in agreement: ‘It is quiet and peaceful. People are calm. When I came here, I didn’t know a word in English, but I soon realised many immigrants could be successful in London; it is an international capital where everyone is welcome. People could make something of themselves here.

‘That’s how it was a decade ago. Now I am not sure if things are going in the wrong direction.’

The family were staying with relatives in Jerusalem on October 7, when they were disturbed at 8am by the shriek of air raid sirens. Trained in what to do, they promptly ran into their safe room.

It soon became clear this was more than just your average warning, however — whenever they ventured out of the room, more sirens would come, a clarion call telling them to hide for their lives.

‘We tried to make a game of it with the children so they weren’t scared,’ says Dorin. ‘But it is this mad thing where you are having to run to a siren because there is a rocket attack; that is something no one in England has experienced since World War II.’

Israel recalls hysteria on the streets as the news of the massacre spread; particularly among tourists who had no idea what to do, so he invited some of them into the family safe room.

‘My mother has dementia and she kept going backwards and forwards in time,’ recalls Israel. ‘At one point she got confused and said, “Don’t worry, my daddy will save us, he’s in the militia”. He’s been dead for 11 years.’

As the day went on, and the full-scale of the horror became known, Israel admits he had his first ever panic attack in the shelter.

‘I was crying, shivering and struggling to breathe. It felt mad to be like this — I have been closer to rocket attacks. But this time I had Dorin and the children.’

Later, he was to discover that his old school friend Elia Toledano had been taken hostage from the Nova Festival — his dead body was later recovered from Gaza by the IDF.

‘He was this sweet boy and they took away his future. Every person in Israel knows someone who was killed on October 7.’

In the last few days, since he started speaking out publicly, Israel has been contacted with story after story of people affected by anti-Semitism. It is not just Jewish people who have expressed their worries to him.

‘I went to my barber on Wednesday, who is not Jewish, and he said to me, “Thank you”. And I said, “Thank you for what?” He said: “Being the voice of the normal people. We only hear the crazy ­Islamists making a hell of a noise. But that doesn’t mean what they say is the truth. So I am glad you spoke for normal people.”’

What would he say to the ‘normal people’ of Britain who are concerned about this rising hatred?

Israel, a thoughtful man, ponders for just a few seconds: ‘We need to let racist people understand that [these actions are] not in our names. These values have no place in our beautiful England.

‘For so many years it has been a welcoming place for Jews — it was the safest place in Europe — and became known as a ‘malkhut shel chessed’ in Hebrew or “Kingdom of Kindness”.

‘We need to remember those ­values not just for Jews, but for all minorities. If this is not a safe place for us to live, something has gone very wrong.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk