CST figures show 1,652 antisemitic incidents were reported in the UK in 2018, a 16% increase on the previous year.
The majority of incidents were non-violent, but took place at an regular rate over the 12 months; over 100 incidents were recorded in every month for the first time ever in any calendar year.
CST state that “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”.
CST recorded 148 antisemitic incidents in 2018 that were examples of, or took place in the immediate context of, arguments over alleged antisemitism in the Labour Party. Of these 148 incidents, 49 occurred in August, 16 in September and 15 in April. These were all months in which allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party attracted significant media and political attention.
The highest monthly totals in 2018 came in May, with 182 incidents; April, with 151 incidents; August, with 150 incidents; and September, with 148 incidents. CST state: “It is likely that these higher monthly totals were partly caused by reactions to political events in the UK and overseas, involving the Labour Party and violence on the border of Israel and Gaza, during those months”.
Commenting upon the report’s publication, Home Secretary Rt. Hon. 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”.
Communities Secretary Rt. Hon. James Brokenshire MP said: “It is completely unacceptable to see the number of antisemitic incidents continue to rise again, particularly at such an alarming rate. I am shocked and saddened that the Community Security Trust recorded over 100 incidents each month last year. Antisemitism may be felt most acutely by the Jewish community, but it is a disgrace that concerns us all. It is as important as ever to eradicate antisemitic discourse from our society and ensure that it is challenged and rooted out from wherever it is found. I am proud to support CST in their work to monitor and combat antisemitism. This Government will always stand together with the British Jewish community to keep them safe, and we will work to ensure that no one is a target for hatred because of their race or religion”.
Upon the publication of the CST’s report, CST Chief Executive David Delew commented: “Since the early 2000s, there has been growing awareness that overseas conflicts cause sharp, sudden increases in domestic antisemitism. Of course, this was most obvious when Israel was in the news”.
Mr Delew added: “Now, 2016, 2017 and 2018 are all the worst years on record, but there is a very different dynamic. Put simply, Israel has not been fully at war and this latest antisemitism is about the condition of Britain today. It cannot somehow be blamed upon anti-Israel hatred, acted out against British Jews. Nor can it somehow be blamed upon British Muslims, as some people might rush to do”.
He said: “Right now, we and our communal partners must challenge antisemitic politics and the deliberate excluding of Jews from anti-racist norms”.
Click here to read the CST’s report in full.