The Community Security Trust (CST) has recorded the third-highest ever number of antisemitic incidents for the first six months of 2020, in its new mid-year report.
According to the figures published on Thursday in the CST’s mid-year report, there were 789 recorded incidents of antisemitism between January and June 2020 — a drop of 13% compared to the first six months of 2019.
Despite this fall, the lockdown led to the introduction of new lines of attack for antisemites, with instances of antisemitism online at their highest ever recorded. A total of 344 incidents were recorded online.
The report showed that the number of violent antisemitic assaults almost halved, with 47 incidents recorded, compared to 85 in the first half of 2019 – a decrease of 45%.
The CST said it was “likely” that the lockdown “contributed to the reduction in reports. The fact that over 100 incidents were recorded in five of the six months sustains the pattern of historically high antisemitic incident figures”.
The report noted that the Covid-19 pandemic had seen the emergence of antisemitic conspiracy theories online that included “theories accusing Jews of inventing the Coronavirus ‘hoax’, or of creating and spreading COVID-19 itself, for various malevolent or financial purposes”.
Responding to the report, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Antisemitic hatred and abuse are completely abhorrent. In April, the Home Office announced funding of up to £14 million through the Jewish Protective Security Grant to help keep members of the Jewish community safe as they go about their daily lives. I will always stand with the Jewish community against the threat of antisemitism”.
Read the full CST report here.