‘Explosion in hatred’ as all-time high anti-semitism recorded by Jewish charity

For the first time ever, the Community Security Trust recorded at least one antisemitic incident in every single police region in the UK.

A new report by a Jewish charity found that in the week after the October 7 Hamas terror attack, 416 anti-semitic incidents were recorded

More than 4,000 anti-semitic incidents were recorded in the UK by a Jewish charity in 2023, with the all-time high being put down to the “sheer volume” which took place following the Hamas attacks of October 7.

The Community Security Trust (CST), said the total was almost double the previous record in 2021 and its chief executive described the “explosion in hatred” against the Jewish community as “an absolute disgrace”.

The charity, which monitors anti-semitism and provides security for the Jewish community in Britain, said there were a total of 4,103 anti-semitic incidents in the UK in 2023, up from the previous annual record of 2,261 incidents which had been reported two years previously.

Its report, published on Thursday, stated: “This record total is due to the sheer volume of anti-semitism perpetrated across the UK following Hamas’ attack on Israel on 7 October 2023.

“Of the 4,103 instances of anti-Jewish hate reported, 2,699 (66%) occurred on or after 7 October.

“This figure alone exceeds any previous annual anti-semitic incident total recorded by CST, and marks a rise of 589% from the 392 instances of antisemitism reported to CST over the same time period in 2022.”

The charity said the week following October 7 saw 416 anti-semitic incidents reported to CST, which it said was higher than for any subsequent week.

Its report said: “The speed at which anti-semites mobilised in the UK on and immediately after 7 October suggests that, initially at least, this increase in anti-Jewish hate was a celebration of the Hamas attack on Israel, rather than anger at Israel’s military response in Gaza.”

Other incidents included “Free Palestine” graffiti being sprayed on a bridge in Golders Green, which is home to one of London’s largest Jewish communities; the defacing with swastikas of a poster in London of a baby kidnapped by Hamas; and a visibly Jewish man being verbally abused and threatened by people who were attending a pro-Palestinian demonstration.

The charity said that it had, for the first time ever, recorded at least one anti-semitic incident in every single police region in the UK across 2023.

CST said it had recorded 3,328 incidents of abusive behaviour, 266 of assault, 305 of threats and 182 of damage and desecration.

The CST said a further 2,185 reports of potential incidents were received by CST in 2023 but were not deemed to be anti-semitic – instead involving anti-Israel activity rather than anti-Jewish language, motivation or targeting – so were not included in the 2023 total.

Home Secretary James Cleverly MP described the rise in anti-semitism in recent months as “utterly deplorable” and said he “will do everything in my power” to ensure the Jewish community is safe and feels safe.

Labour’s Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary, said the rise was “appalling and intolerable” and a “stain on our society”.

She said: “There must be zero-tolerance for anti-semitism in Britain and those who proliferate that poison on the streets and online must face the full force of the law.”

Her comments come as the Labour party faces criticism around its handling of anti-semitism allegations after a second parliamentary candidate was suspended over remarks about Israel.

The party has insisted there are “strong checks” on would-be MPs, after parliamentary candidate Graham Jones was suspended on Tuesday, only a day after Labour was forced to suspend and withdraw its backing for Rochdale by-election candidate Azhar Ali.

CST chief executive Mark Gardner said: “British Jews are strong and resilient, but the explosion in hatred against our community is an absolute disgrace.

“It occurs in schools, universities, workplaces, on the streets and all over social media.”

The Government’s independent adviser on anti-semitism, Lord Mann said the report’s figures are a “reminder to British civil society of the serious nature of anti-semitism and the impact that it has on the Jewish community”.

He added: “This country will not tolerate the abuse or intimation of any of its citizens and I will continue to make sure that it remains a safe place for our Jewish community.”

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