LONDON—The 2017 report of the Community Security Trust (CST), the body responsible for the physical protection and defence of British Jews, shows that 1,382 anti-Semitic incidents have been recorded in the UK , the highest total ever recorded for a calendar year.
This represents a 3 per cent increase from the 1,346 incidents recorded during 2016, which was itself a record annual total. The previous record high was in 2014, when CST recorded 1,182 antisemitic incidents.
The report shows also that last year over 100 anti-Semitic incidents have been recorded every month from January to October inclusive. This continued an unprecedented pattern of monthly totals exceeding 100 incidents for 19 consecutive months from April 2016. In comparison, monthly totals only exceeded 100 incidents on six occasions in the ten years preceding April 2016
CST recorded a 34 per cent increase in the number of violent anti-Semitic assaults, from 108 in 2016 to 145 in 2017.
‘’The high incident levels throughout 2017 continued the pattern of 2016 in which high incident numbers were sustained by a combination of factors, including an increase in all forms of recorded hate crime and publicity regarding alleged antisemitism in the Labour Party,’’ the report noted.
Commenting the figures, CST Chief Executive David Delew said:“Hgatred is rising and Jewish people are suffering as a result. This should concern everybody because it shows anger and division that threaten all of society. We have the support of government and police, but prosecutions need to be more visible and more frequent; while too many others act in ways that encourage antisemites and isolate Jews.”
In a statement British Home Secretary (Interior Minister) Amber Rudd MP said:“Anti-Semitism is a despicable form of abuse that seeks to undermine our values of diversity and openness and which has absolutely no place in British society.’’
She said the g0vernment ‘’will continue its work protecting the Jewish community and other groups from anti-Semitism and hate crime. In addition to the £13.4m funding the Government provides to protect Jewish sites, this year we will be refreshing our 2016 Hate Crime Action Plan, which sets out our strategy for tackling this scourge.”
The president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jonathan Arkush, said “The UK remains an overwhelmingly happy home for its Jewish community but, given these worrying statistic, there is no room for complacency. Defeating the evil of antisemitism will take a concerted effort by the country’s political leadership, government and civil society. We must all strive to make our country a just, safe tolerant society with no place for racism and hatred.”
The World Jewish Congress noted that the CST figures show that the Jewish community was targeted at a rate of nearly four times a day in 2017.
“Anti-Semitism is rearing its ugly head at an alarming rate around the world, even in a place like the United Kingdom, where Jews live in relative safety, security, and comfort,” said WJC CEO Robert Singer. “This is a cause for extreme vigilance and concern, and should be treated seriously by society at large, as well as at the judicial, police, and government levels. We must make it absolutely and infinitely clear that anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia, and hatred have no place in our society.”