Last year the UK saw an unprecedented number of anti-Semitic incidents an annual report has found.
The Community Security Trust (CST) released its annual report into anti-Semitic hate crimes and showed that 1,805 incidents were reported in 2019, an increase of 7% since the previous year.
This number is the highest ever reported by CST and shows a rise in hate crimes against Jews each year for the past four years. It also shows that since 2016, apart from two months, there have been over 100 anti-Semitic incidents each month in the UK. The two highest months in 2019 were February (182) and December (184).
“2019 was another difficult year for British Jews and it is no surprise that recorded anti-Semitic incidents reached yet another high,” said CST Chief Executive David Delew.
“It is clear that both social media and mainstream politics are places where anti-Semitism and racism need to be driven out, if things are to improve in the future,” he added.
CST recorded 1,443 incidents in the category of Abusive Behaviour in 2019, an increase of eight per cent from the 1,334 instances of Abusive Behaviour recorded in 2018. This is 80 per cent of 2019’s total incidents tally and is the highest number of incidents in this category ever reported to CST in a single calendar year, once again making Abusive Behaviour the highest single category of antisemitic incident type.
The rise of far-left anti-Semitism, particularly within the Labour party, has contributed significantly to these numbers, however, the report notes that far-right anti-Semitism cannot be ignored.
There were 330 anti-Semitic incidents where “the offender or offenders made reference to Hitler, the Nazis, the Holocaust, employed discourse based on the Nazi period, and/or punctuated their abuse with a Nazi salute or the depiction of a swastika,” the report says.
Explaining far-left and far-right anti-Semitism, CST said:
“Antisemitism that emanates from the far left is frequently wrapped up in self-justifying political discourse and explanation, for example using antisemitic language in defence of the Labour Party or its leadership, while the antisemitic language of the far right is usually more direct, violent and knowingly insulting. A possible reason for this is that far right antisemitism is a more established hatred, whereas antisemitism from the far
left is less self-aware and more reactive. This may explain why Labour Party-related incidents fluctuated throughout 2019 in response to events, whereas incidents showing far right motivation occurred consistently throughout the year.”
There were 342 incidents where a combination of two or more political and religious discourses were detected.
The report also notes that social media anti-Semitism was the most common form of abuse in 2019 with an 82% rise compared to 384 in 2018.
Incidents of Damage & Desecration to Jewish property rose by 11 per cent, from 79 incidents in 2018 to 88 incidents in
2019. Forty-five of these incidents involved damage done to the homes and vehicles of Jewish people, 12 to Jewish organisations or companies, ten to synagogues, seven to Jewish schools, and three to cemeteries.
It is sad to see that the numbers have increased each year and heartbreaking that a mainstream political party has been involved in spreading this hatred against the Jewish people. We must do all we can to counter the scourge of anti-Semitism that has gripped the UK.