Shalom Life | August 02, 2015

Report: 53% Rise in Anti-Semitic Incidents in the UK

Government officials are speaking out against anti-Semitism after new report finds rapid increase in anti-Semitic incidents

By: B. Shane Morganstein

Published: August 1st, 2015 in News » World

Report: 53% Rise in Anti-Semitic Incidents in the UK

Government officials are speaking out against anti-Semitism and in support of the English Jewish community after new report finds rapid increase in anti-Semitic incidents

In the wake of manyanti-Semitic incidents and conflicting reports in Europe this past year, a new report is finding that things are not getting better for Jews living in the UK. The report, released Thursday, claims that there has been a 53% increase in UK anti-Semitic incidents in the first half of 2015 as compared to the same period last year.

The report, released by the Community Security Trust (CST) monitoring group, attributes this growth partially to an increase in reporting of incidents, indicating that in the last year Jews have become more comfortable stepping forward and taking action against hate crimes. The CST explains that the increased number “is believed to be due to heightened concern within the British Jewish community following terrorist attacks against the Jewish communities of Paris and Copenhagen in January and February 2015.”

From January to June of this year, there were a whopping 473 recorded anti-Semitic incidents, as opposed to the 309 reported in the same time last year, and 223 incidents the beginning of the year before.

The report also broke down the different types of hate crimes: 44 violent anti-Semitic assaults (of which 2 involved a threat to life), 35 reports of damage or desecration of Jewish property, 36 direct anti-Semitic threats, 5 mass-mailed anti-Semitic leaflets, and 353 cases of abusive behavior, including hate mail or graffiti.

According to the report, “random, spontaneous anti-Semitic abuse directed at visibly Jewish people in public was the most common single type of anti-Semitic incident recorded.”

CST Chief Executive David Delew elaborated on the report’s findings, saying, “The terrorist attacks on European Jews earlier this year, following the high levels of anti-Semitism ub 2014m were a difficult and unsettling experience for our Jewish community. We welcome the apparent increase in reporting anti-Semitic incidents but regret the concern and anxiety about anti-Semitism that this reflects.”

“Anti-Semitism has absolutely no place in Britain, and we must do everything we can to eradicate it wherever we find it,” commented UK Home Secretary Theresa May on the report.

The secretary also acknowledged the heightened concern of Jews living in Britain for their safety, saying “I know that many Jewish people are concerned about safety in their community, and we are listening. Those who seek to spread anti-Semitic hatred should know that the government will act against all those who seek to divide out country and sow discord.”

Communities Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford also commented on the report, who said, “anti-Semitism and hate crimes of any sort are not only vile, wrong and totally unacceptable in our society, but they are also an affront to the British values that we hold dear.”

“Most of the anti-Semitic incidents in this report involved abusive behavior – which includes abuse on social media. Hate expressed online can often lead to real-world violence and what’s more repeated exposure, if left alone, can lead to an acceptance of extreme views,” the Minister continued. “That’s why this government is determined to find ways to challenge and confront this online hate, to educate people about why it’s so corrosive, and to encourage people to speak out when they see it.”

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