LONDON—A record high total of 1,652 antisemitic incidents has been recorded in the UK last year, a 16 percent rise from the 1,420 incidents in 2017, the latest report by the Community Security Trust (CST) shows.
‘’2018 was the third year in a row that CST has recorded a record high incident total and means the problem of rising antisemitism in our country continues to grow,’’ the organization in charge of the security of the British Jewish community noted.
These 1,652 incidents were spread throughout the year, with over 100 incidents recorded in every month for the first time in any calendar year. ‘’It indicates a general atmosphere of intolerance and prejudice is sustaining the high incident totals, rather than a one-off specific ‘trigger’ event,’’ CST said.
‘’In addition to more general background factors, the highest monthly totals in 2018 came when the problem of antisemitism in the Labour Party was the subject of intense discussion and activity, or when violence surged temporarily on the border between Israel and Gaza; suggesting that these events, and reactions to them, also played a role in 2018’s record total.’’
2018 saw an increase in the number and proportion of antisemitic incidents that used political or extremist language and imagery. Forty-five per cent of the incidents recorded by CST in 2018 involved the use of extremist language or imagery alongside antisemitism, compared to 30 per cent of incidents recorded in 2017. Not all of these incidents revealed a clear, single ideological motivation: many involved the varied and confused use of different extremist motifs, drawn from a broad reservoir of antisemitic sources. Of the 1,652 antisemitic incidents recorded during 2018, 456 involved language or imagery relating to the far right or the Nazi period; 254 involved references to Israel and the Palestinians, alongside antisemitism; and 29 involved references to Islam and Muslims. In 285 incidents, more than one type of extremist discourse was used.
Almost three-quarters of the 1,652 antisemitic incidents were recorded in Greater London and Greater Manchester, the two largest Jewish communities in the UK. CST recorded 950 antisemitic incidents in Greater London in 2018, a rise of 21 per cent from the 784 incidents recorded in London in 2017. In Greater Manchester, CST recorded 250 antisemitic incidents, a fall of five per cent from the 264 incidents recorded there in 2017. Beyond these two centres, CST recorded 452 antisemitic incidents across the United Kingdom in 2018, compared to 386 incidents in 2017. This included 55 in Hertfordshire, 34 in Gateshead, 23 in Leeds, 19 in Liverpool, 16 in Sheffield, 12 in Glasgow and 11 in Birmingham.