2017 Antisemitic report in Britain
CST’s 2017 Antisemitic Incidents Report, shows that CST recorded 1,382 antisemitic incidents nationwide in 2017, the highest total CST has ever recorded for a calendar year. This is a 3 per cent increase from the 1,346 incidents recorded during 2016, which was itself a record annual total. The previous record high was in 2014, when CST recorded 1,182 antisemitic incidents. A copy of the report can be downloaded here.
In addition to the 1,382 antisemitic incidents, a further 872 reports of potential incidents were received by CST in 2017 but were not deemed to be antisemitic and are not included in this total. Many of these 872 potential incidents involved suspicious activity or possible hostile reconnaissance at Jewish locations; criminal activity affecting Jewish people and buildings; and anti-Israel activity that did not include antisemitic language, motivation or targeting.
The high incident levels throughout 2017 continued the pattern of 2016 in which high incident numbers were sustained by a combination of factors, including an increase in all forms of recorded hate crime and publicity regarding alleged antisemitism in the Labour Party. These factors may have caused higher levels of incident offending as well as encouraging more reporting of antisemitic incidents from victims and witnesses in the Jewish community. This differs from previous record highs, in 2014 and 2009, when conflicts in Israel and Gaza acted as sudden trigger events, that led to short-term, identifiable ‘spikes’ in incident numbers.
The record total in 2017 saw over 100 antisemitic incidents recorded every month from January to October inclusive. This continued an unprecedented pattern of monthly totals exceeding 100 incidents for 19 consecutive months from April 2016. In comparison, monthly totals only exceeded 100 incidents on six occasions in the ten years preceding April 2016. Monthly incident totals did decline towards the end of 2017, with 89 incidents in November and 78 in December, but they remain roughly double the level they were at five years ago.
CST recorded a 34 per cent increase in the number of violent antisemitic assaults, from 108 in 2016 to 145 in 2017. There is no single, obvious explanation for this high total, which covers a broad range of violent incidents from common assault to actual bodily harm (ABH). None of these violent incidents were classified by CST as ‘Extreme Violence’, which would mean they involved potential grievous bodily harm (GBH) or threat to life.
The most common single type of incident recorded by CST in 2017 involved verbal abuse randomly directed at visibly Jewish people in public. In 356 incidents (a quarter of the overall total), the victims were Jewish people, male or female, attacked or abused while going about their daily business in public places. In at least 283 incidents, the victims were visibly Jewish, usually due to their religious or traditional clothing, school uniform or jewellery bearing Jewish symbols.