JTA NEWS
19 August 2017 - 27 Av 5777 - כ"ז אב ה' אלפים תשע"ז
JTA NEWS :
Anti-Semitic incidents up in the UK E-mail

The UK’s main watchdog group on anti-Semitism reported a record 1,309 incidents in 2016, a 36% increase over the 2015 tally.

Of the anti-Semitic incidents recorded last year by the Community Security Trust (CST), 107 were cases of physical assault, compared with 87 in 2015, the report said.

While the 2016 figure in the assault category was the highest since 2010, the bulk of incidents – 1,006 of them – belonged to the category of “verbal and written anti-Semitic abuse”, which covers emails, letters, text messages and tweets.

The increase is not attributable to any specific trigger, as has been the case in years when fighting broke out between Israel and its enemies, the report said.

Instead, CST cited a “combination of events and factors”, including an unprecedented public debate about anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, terrorist attacks in Western countries and the June 2016 referendum, in which a majority of voters supported a British exit from the European Union.

“CST did record a small number of anti-Semitic incidents during 2016 that made direct reference to the European Union or to Brexit, but not enough to explain, on their own, the overall high total for the year,” the report said in reference to the referendum, which British police said triggered a slew of hate crimes, though not many against Jews.

“These events, and their subsequent discussion in mainstream and social media, provided material and motivation for anti-Semitic hate incident offenders,” CST wrote.

Another factor driving the increase was the growing awareness to the importance of reporting anti-Semitic incidents, CST noted, though it is still likely “that there is significant underreporting of antiSemitic incidents”.

One assault in January 2016 in London involved six Jewish schoolgirls wearing Jewish school uniforms. On their way home from school, the girls were assaulted and verbally abused by two older girls, one of whom appeared to be wearing a Muslim headscarf.

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