Britain / 07-10-2012
Antisemitism on the rise in the UK
A report published this week by the Community Security Trust (CST) shows that antisemitic incidents in the UK have risen in the months January- June 2012, compared with last year’s figures.
In the first six months of this year, 513 potential incidents of antisemitism were reported to the CST; of which the CST deemed 299 cases to be antisemitic.
In comparison to 2010 figures, evidence from the report suggest two opposing trends; an increase in reported incidents in London and similarly a large fall in the number of incident reports in Greater Manchester.
Figures suggest that antisemitism across the capital is heavily on the rise, a total of 148 incidents were recorded by the CST in the first half of 2012, a 48 percent increase when compared to 2011 figures (100).
In terms of monthly incidents, March 2012 saw a significant rise in antisemitic incidents with a total of 73 cases being recorded by the CST. According to the report, the ‘total appears to have been influenced by the reactions to the terrorist shooting at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish School in Toulouse, France’. Two –thirds (49) of incidents were reported on or after 19 March 2012 and may have reflected ‘a greater motivation on the part of British Jews to report antisemitic incidents’.
Breakdown of incident categories:
In the first half of 2012, CST recorded 33 violent antisemitic assaults, one of which was so serious it was classified as extreme violence – meaning it posed a threat to life or constituted grievous bodily harm (GBH).
There were 28 incidents of damage and desecration of Jewish property in the first six months of 2012. There has been a rise in the number of direct antisemitic threats recorded by the CST (19) in 2012, compared with 15 threat incidents in January to June 2011.
Of the total incidents logged by the CST, the majority fall under the category of abusive behaviour which can range from anti-Semitic graffiti, one-off hate mail, and antisemitic verbal abuse.
Abusive behaviour accounts for 217 of the incidents recorded, a massive 10 percent increase from the 197 incidents documented in the first half of 2011. CST identified three incidents of mass-produced or mass-emailed antisemitic literature between January-June 2012.
Incident victims for the first half of 2012
- 136 incidents in which victims were random Jewish individuals in public
- 67 incidents involved victims who were visibly Jewish – wore religious or traditional Jewish clothing
- 36 incidents involved abuse shouted at a passing vehicle
- 12 incidents at Jewish Schools
- 11 incidents involved Jewish staff or schoolchildren on their way to or from school
- 7 incidents involved Jewish schoolchildren or staff at non-faith schools
- 14 incidents affecting Jewish academics, students, student unions or other student bodies (nine on campus, five off campus)
- 21 incidents involved synagogues
- 15 incidents targeted synagogues congregates or rabbis on their way to and from prayers
- 5 incidents involved a prominent Jewish individual or public figure
- 2 desecrations of Jewish cemeteries
One of the starkest statistics from the breakdown of victims is the total number of incidents (30) which took place in or around a schooling environment. Does this suggest that a younger generation of Britons are succumbing to racial hatred or discrimination among their peers?
Who are the perpetrators?
Of course while difficult to identify each individual or group guilty of such anti-Semitism within the UK, the CST report did record some statistics based on ethnicity, age and gender.
- In 76 of 299 antisemitic incidents - 57 percent were describes as white-north European, 29 percent as South Asian, 13 percent as Arab or north African and 1 was described as black.
- In 139 of 299 antisemitic incidents – 79 percent were male perpetrators, 18 percent were female and perpetrators in four incidents were mixed groups of males and females
- In 118 of 299 antisemitic incidents – 63 percent were adults, 35 percent were describes as minors and three incidents of mixed groups of adults and minors.