Saturday, 29 Feb 2020 - 4 of Adar, 5780

Anti-Semitic incidents in the UK: 2019 was 4th successive record year

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CST recorded over 100 incidents in every calendar month.

Violent antisemitic assaults increased to their highest ever level, with 158 incidents recorded, one of which posed potential risk to life.This figure rose 25% from the 2018 total of 126 assaults and is the highest number of assaults in a calendar year. Almost half of the assaults occurred in Barnet (29 incidents), Hackney (28 instances) and Salford (15 incidents), all areas with large and visible Jewish populations.

A charity group in the UK monitoring antisemitism in the country has issued a new report showing that 2019 was a fourth successive year with a record number of antisemitic incidents.

The Community Security Trust (CST) annual Antisemitic Incidents Report, shows that 2019 was the worst year on record, with a total of 1,805 incidents deemed antisemitic by CST. This is 7% higher than the 2018 total of 1,690 incidents and is the fourth successive year in which a new annual high has been recorded. For the second successive year, CST recorded over 100 incidents in every calendar month.

Most antisemitic incidents occurred in areas with large Jewish populations. Nevertheless, incidents were reported from every British Police force region, with the exceptions of Gloucestershire and Suffolk, the report said.

The most obvious single factor in the record antisemitism high for 2019 is the 697 incidents reported to CST from social media. This is 39% of the overall total of 1,805 incidents and is a rise of 82% on the 2018 total of 384 incidents from the same source.

Violent antisemitic assaults also increased to their highest ever level, with 158 incidents recorded, one of which posed potential risk to life.This figure rose 25% from the 2018 total of 126 assaults and is the highest number of assaults in a calendar year. Almost half of the assaults occurred in Barnet (29 incidents), Hackney (28 instances) and Salford (15 incidents), all areas with large and visible Jewish populations.

CST noted that the highest single monthly totals in 2019 came in February and December, both months when the problem of antisemitism in the Labour Party was the subject of sustained discussion and activity.

: February because of the resignation of several Labour MPs to form Change UK, some of whom cited antisemitism as one reason for their decision; and December saw intense focus on the issue of antisemitism during the General Election campaign. In total in 2019, CST recorded 224 antisemitic incidents in which the offender or offenders, or the abuse they expressed, were related to the Labour Party, or in which antisemitism was expressed in the context of arguments about alleged antisemitism in the Labour Party. This is an increase from the 148 incidents of this kind recorded by CST in 2018.

CST Chief Executive David Delew  said the figures reflected “deepening divides in our country and our politics. Jewish people are on the receiving end of this hatred, but it must not be left to us to tackle alone.”

John Mann, the Labour chairman of the all-party parliamentary group against antisemitism, said: “Sadly, these figures are not surprising; indeed, they are predictable … It is now time for everyone in parliament to stand up, be counted and to stand alongside the CST in the fight against antisemitism.

Marie van der Zyl, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said the figures were very worrying for Jews living in the UK. “Overall, the UK remains a happy place for its Jewish community, but this reports shows that there is no room for complacency,” she said.

British Interior Minister Sajid Javid declared: “All acts of antisemitism are utterly despicable and have no place in society … We are doing all we can to rid society of these poisonous views.”

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