The Communities Security Trust has published its 2018 Antisemitic Incidents Report, which shows that CST recorded a record high total of 1,652 antisemitic incidents in the UK last year.
2018 was the third year in a row that CST has recorded a record high incident total and means the problem of rising antisemitism in our country continues to grow.
Almost three-quarters of the 1,652 antisemitic incidents were recorded in Greater London and Greater Manchester, the two largest Jewish communities in the UK.
CST recorded 950 antisemitic incidents in Greater London in 2018, a rise of 21 per cent from the 784 incidents recorded in London in 2017. In Greater Manchester, CST recorded 250 antisemitic incidents, a fall of five per cent from the 264 incidents recorded there in 2017.
The incidents were spread throughout the year, with over 100 incidents recorded in every month for the first time in any calendar year; indicating that a general atmosphere of intolerance and prejudice is sustaining the high incident totals, rather than a one-off specific ‘trigger’ event.
In addition to more general background factors, the highest monthly totals in 2018 came when the problem of antisemitism in the Labour Party was the subject of intense discussion and activity, or when violence surged temporarily on the border between Israel and Gaza; suggesting that these events, and reactions to them, also played a role in 2018’s record total.
2018 saw an increase in the number and proportion of antisemitic incidents that used political or extremist language and imagery. Forty-five per cent of the incidents recorded by CST in 2018 involved the use of extremist language or imagery alongside antisemitism, compared to 30 per cent of incidents recorded in 2017.
CST Chief Executive David Delew said:
“Three years of rising antisemitic incidents shows the scale of the problem facing the Jewish community. This is happening across society and across the country and it reflects deepening divides in our country and our politics. Jewish people are on the receiving end of this hatred but it must not be left to us to tackle alone.”
Home Secretary Sajid Javid MP said:
“All acts of antisemitism are utterly despicable and have no place in society. The Jewish community should not have to tolerate these attacks and we are doing all we can to rid society of these poisonous views. As part of our Hate Crime Action Plan we work closely with the Jewish community and soon I will be co-chairing an antisemitism roundtable to discuss how we further tackle these issues.”