New CST report finds second-highest Jan to June levels in 30 years
The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the UK have risen to 557 in the first half of 2016, the second-highest for this period in over 30 years.
A new report from the Community Security Trust, which provides security for Jewish people in Britain, finds incidents of anti-Semitism from January to June were 11 per cent higher than in the first half of 2015.
This is also the second-highest for this period after 2009 since its records began in 1984.
It comes amid a rise in hate crimes across the country around the EU referendum, and follows two reports into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
CST Chief Executive David Delew said:
‘This rise in reported anti-Semitism comes at a time when division, intolerance and prejudice appear to be deepening within our society.
Reversing this worrying trend requires real leadership from all political parties, and for the social media companies to take their share of the responsibility.’
CST reports tend to be very scrupulous. The group excluded 364 reports of potential anti-Semitism for not meeting its criteria, and counted cases of organised abuse on social media as single incidents, rather than counting each Tweet or message as a separate incident.
The majority of incidents (431) fell under the category ‘abusive behaviour’, meaning verbal abuse, graffiti, online abuse and hate mail.
There were also 43 direct threats, 41 violent assaults, 32 cases of damage or desecration of property, such as synagogues, and 10 cases of mass-mailed anti-Semitic leaflets or emails.
The CST said the most common type of incident was ‘verbal abuse randomly directed at visibly Jewish people in public’.
Most of the incidents took place in the Greater London area – 379, a rise of 62 per cent – followed by Greater Manchester at 62, a 54 per cent decline on last year.
Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) took place on social media, with 133 incidents – up from 89 in the first half of 2015 – and saw targeted campaigns against Jewish or other individuals.
The CST notes the absence of a ‘trigger event’ such as conflict involving Israel and Palestine, which often correlate with anti-Semitism in Britain, but many incidents happened in April, May and June, when anti-Semitism in the Labour Party was often in the news.
A report by Shami Chakrabarti requested by Jeremy Corbyn made recommendations on curbing all forms of prejudice, but was criticised for not addressing specific cases involving Ken Livingstone and Naz Shah – which prompted the inquiry – or concerns about Corbyn’s politics on the Middle East.
Yesterday a report by Baroness Royall into anti-Semitism at the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC) was released in full by the Jewish Chronicle, after being withheld by Labour’s NEC, which released only an executive summary in May.
The report said there was a ‘cultural problem’ within the OULC and anti-Semitic incidents had occurred which called for disciplinary action.Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.