Anti-Jewish hate incidents reach record high in UK | Anti-Semitism

Anti-Jewish hate incidents have reached an all-time high in the UK, with reports of anti-Semitism in person and online surpassing the previous peak in 2019 after the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians broke out last May.

The Community Security Trust (CST), a charity that monitors anti-Semitism, recorded 2,255 incidents last year, including an increase in people shouting slurs from passing cars as well as 173 violent assaults. This is the highest annual tally of anti-Semitic hate ever recorded by CSE and represents a 34% increase from the 1,684 incidents recorded in 2020.

The biggest surge coincided with the bloody conflict in the Middle East in May. Incidents involving schools, students and teachers hit a new high, more than tripling in 2020. There was a similar increase in incidents among students and academics, with the highest volume of hate related to university ever recorded – and half of that is happening in May 2021.

Jews in Manchester and London suffered 155 anti-Semitic incidents involving people shouting slurs from passing vehicles, more than half of which occurred in May and June. Hundreds of Palestinians and 13 people in Israel were killed as Israel carried out airstrikes in Gaza and Hamas fired rockets into Israel.

More than a third of all incidents in the UK involved language, imagery or behavior referencing the conflict in the Middle East or demonstrating anti-Zionist motivation alongside anti-Semitism.

Home Secretary Priti Patel called the figures “shocking”, while shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said the new record was “really appalling”. The government’s independent adviser on anti-Semitism, Peer John Mann, said it was time to “reconsider our efforts to tackle anti-Semitism”.

“These record levels of anti-Jewish racism, reported by our Jewish community to CSE and police, show just how difficult the past year has been for Jews across Britain,” said Mark Gardner, director general of the CSE, which also provides security for the Jewish people and properties.

“These hatreds are evaporating, taking any excuse to burst out publicly against the Jews. This is exactly what happened during and after the Israel-Gaza war of May 2021, from schools and universities to loads of people who repeatedly went to Jewish areas and shouted vile insults at anyone. looked Jewish.

The report provides images of anti-Semitic graffiti in Tower Hamlets about ‘Zionist military police’ and ‘mind control’, a candelabra to celebrate the Hanukah holiday smashed to the ground in Camden and graffiti on a pavement in Gateshead which said “Fuck Jews”.

There has been an overall decrease in hate online, possibly due to a drop in the number of Labour-related incidents. CST said it had previously recorded outbursts of anti-Semitic vitriol online from people who felt allegations of anti-Semitism within the party were fabricated by the wider Jewish community to smear the former Labor leader Jeremy Corbin.

There was also evidence of Covid-related anti-Semitism with leaflets distributed in homes in South Yorkshire saying ‘Don’t trust the Jewish jab’ and other similar insults. A total of 78 incidents were related to the pandemic – from conspiracy theories about Jewish involvement in the creation and spread of Covid-19 or the “myth” of Covid-19, to the wish that Jews would catch the virus and die. Some reports concerned the misappropriation of Holocaust images such as the yellow Star of David as part of anti-lockdown or anti-vaccine campaigns.

The racists have also found a new way to spread their hatred. There have been 16 reports of “Zoombombings” – hijacked video conferencing events with anti-Semitic material in 2021.

The conflict in the Middle East coincided with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in the UK, which CST said may have fueled the spike in hate incidents. In May, businesses were allowed to reopen, most legal controls on outdoor socializing were lifted and two households were able to meet indoors.

“It is possible that the relaxation of regulations, coinciding with such an emotional triggering event as a new war between Israel and Hamas, provided the opportunity and the impetus for a massive release from the frustrations induced by the confinement,” indicates the report. “These factors may have played a role in the magnitude of the increase in reports of anti-Semitic incidents during and after this period.”

Patel said: ‘Our Jewish community has been the subject of appalling hatred…In addition to supporting the work of CSE, I continue to support the police to ensure they have the resources to tackle these incidents. despicable so that the perpetrators can then be punished with the full force of the law. »

Cooper said the growing number of incidents “shows how far we have to go to remove the stain of anti-Semitism from our society.”

“We need urgent action to address these despicable incidents wherever they occur, whether in schools, on our streets or online,” she said. “Hate is unacceptable in any form, and it is our responsibility to eradicate it once and for all.”

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