UK: Anti-Semitism on the rise

04 Aug 2016
04 Aug 2016 Facebook Twitter Email Print

The United Kingdom saw an 11-percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the first six months of 2016, the Community Security Trust of the British Jewish community said in its interim report.

The CST registered 557 anti-Semitic incidents in that period, compared to 500 in the first half of 2015. The CST’s interim incidents report for 2016 was published Thursday. It is the second-highest CST has ever recorded in the January-June period of any year, after 629 incidents recorded in the first half of 2009.

“There is no obvious single cause for the increase in recorded anti-Semitic incidents, most of which came in April, May and June,” the CST wrote in a statement about the report.

The trust has recorded anti-Semitic incidents since 1984. It closely works with police and other law enforcement agencies in the UK. 

Over three-quarters of all incidents were recorded in Greater London and Greater Manchester, the two largest Jewish communities in the UK. However, these two cities saw opposing trends during this period. The CST recorded 379 anti-Semitic incidents in Greater London, a rise of 62 per cent from the same period in 2015, whereas in Greater Manchester it recorded 62 anti-Semitic incidents, a fall of 54 per cent. 

364 reports were received by the CST between January and June 2016 that were not deemed to be anti-Semitic in nature.

In an indirect reference to the debate over Labour, the CST statement also said: “This was a period when anti-Semitism, racism and extremism were reported and discussed prominently in the national media.” The debate was over the role of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a left-wing politician who was elected as party head last year.

A harsh critic of Israel, he was accused by Jewish community representatives as well as senior Labour members and backers of generating an atmosphere that encouraged expressions of anti-Semitism among his supporters with statements against the Jewish state and in favor of the terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas.