World Jewish News
New report shows record number of anti-Semitic hate incidents in first half of 2017 in the UK
767 anti-Semitic incidents have been recorded in Britain in the first six months of 2017, a rise of 30% from the same period last year , according to the latest report published by the Community Security Trust (CST), a charity that protects British Jews from anti-Semitism and related threats.
This is the highest total CST has ever recorded for the January-June period of any year.
“CST has again recorded an unprecedented number of antisemitic incidents, with figures now almost twice as bad as five years ago. Some of this may be down to improved reporting, but it is sadly clear that the overall situation has deteriorated. Anti-Semitism is having an increasing impact on the lives of British Jews and the hatred and anger that lies behind it is spreading,” said CST Chief Executive David Delew.
A further 483 reports were received by CST in the first six months of 2017, but were not deemed to be antisemitic and are not included in this total.
CST saw over 100 anti-Semitic incidents recorded for every month so far this year.
‘’This continues an unprecedented pattern of monthly totals higher than 100 incidents for every month since April 2016. The average monthly incident totals recorded by CST are now roughly double the level they were at five years ago,’’ the report notes.
‘’It is likely that the incident totals recorded by CST reflect a general, sustained rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in an average month. Jewish communal concern about anti-Semitism and consequent better reporting, in addition to increased reporting from commercial security guards, may contribute partly to the rise in recorded incidents. However, these factors alone do not explain the scale and breadth of the increase.’’
The most common single type of incident recorded by CST in the first half of 2017 involved verbal abuse randomly directed at visibly Jewish people in public. In at least 203 incidents, the victims were visibly Jewish.
80 violent anti-Semitic assaults were recorded in the first six months of 2017, the highest number CST has ever recorded for the January to June period. None of these violent incidents were classified by CST as ‘Extreme Violence’, which would mean they involved potential grievous bodily harm (GBH) or threat to life
Almost three-quarters of the 767 anti-Semitic incidents were recorded in Greater London and Greater Manchester, the two largest Jewish communities in the UK.
CST recorded 425 anti-Semitic incidents in Greater London, a rise of 10% from the 387 incidents recorded in Greater London during the same period in 2016. In Greater Manchester, CST recorded 145 such incidents, an increase of 84% from the 79 incidents recorded there in the first six months of 2016.
Beyond these two centres, CST recorded 197 anti-Semitic incidents in 66 locations around the UK, including 22 in Hertfordshire, 22 in Gateshead, 10 in Brighton & Hove, 9 in Leeds and 7 in Birmingham.
In, a reaction to the report results, British Interior Minister Amber Rudd declared: “Anti-Semitism has no place in this country, which prides itself on openness, diversity and tolerance. This Government’s Hate Crime Action Plan has improved the response of law enforcement to these deplorable crimes, including encouraging more victims to report incidents directly to police or via trusted organisations such as CST. This may partly explain the increase in reported incidents.’’
She added: ‘’I am clear that one such incident is one too many and we will continue to do everything we can to stamp out the hatred and division that blights our communities.’’
She said the government will provide £13.4m pounds to protect Jewish sites and made available £900,000 for innovative schemes to tackle various types of hate crime.
‘’We will continue to drive forward action and develop new ways to rid the country of antisemitism and hate crime in all its forms,” she said.
All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism Chair John Mann MP said:
"This report should be of serious concern to people up and down Britain. If we are to pride ourselves on being a diverse, equal and welcoming country we have to reverse this worrying trend."
“It is deeply concerning to see this sharp incline in hate against Jews in the UK,” said European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor. “Britain was always seen as a place of security and safety for Jews but this is unfortunately slowly changing.”
“While there doesn’t appear to be a particular trigger for the rise in anti-Semitism, we can see that xenophobia and racism are becoming more mainstream and prejudice against Jews is always at the forefront of any wave of hate.”
CST provides security advice and training for Jewish communal organisations, schools and synagogues. CST secures over 650 Jewish communal buildings and approximately 1,000 communal events every year..