The Community Security Trust’s (CST) Antisemitic Incidents Report 2020, published on Thursday, shows that last year CST recorded 1,668 antisemitic incidents across the UK- an 8% fall from the year before.
The findings are still the third-highest number of incidents CST has ever recorded in a calendar year. There were 1,813 antisemitic incidents recorded in 2019, 1,690 in 2018, 1,420 in June 2017 and 1,275 antisemitic incidents in 2016.
CST say that the 1,668 antisemitic incidents CST recorded in 2020 were clearly influenced by the pandemic. There were 41 incidents that referenced the pandemic alongside antisemitic language, and 19 cases of Jewish religious, educational or social events being ‘zoombombed’ by antisemites who accessed the events to express antisemitic abuse.
There was a reduction in the number of incidents affecting Jewish schools, teachers and school students, but an increase in the number of incidents at people’s homes.
The highest monthly totals came in January, February and June, when the pandemic either had not yet fully struck or when restrictions had been eased. In contrast, the lowest monthly incident totals came in March, April and December, when lockdown measures were at their strictest.
41 incidents in 2020 involved references to the pandemic alongside antisemitic rhetoric. This ranged from conspiracy theories alleging Jewish involvement in creating and spreading Covid-19 (or creating the so-called ‘myth’ of Covid-19), to wishing that Jewish people catch the virus and die from it.
CST recorded 100 violent antisemitic incidents in 2020, a 39% fall from 158 incidents involving violence in 2019.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “It is shameful that in the 21st century, the Jewish community still faces racist abuse and the desecration of their synagogues and other religious and community sites. As Home Secretary, I will continue my work across Government and with the police to tackle hate crime and ensure perpetrators are rightly punished”.
Read the full report here.