Antisemitic incidents in the UK reach new high, new data shows

A protester holds up a placard saying 'End Jew Hatred' at a demonstration in London.
A protester holds up a placard saying 'End Jew Hatred' at a demonstration in London. Copyright AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File
By Euronews
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The war in Gaza appears to have triggered an alarming spike in threats against Jews and Jewish institutions regardless of their relationship to the state of Israel.

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The number of antisemitic incidents in the UK has reached a new annual high, according to data gathered by a Jewish safety watchdog.

The annual report from the Community Security Trust, or CST, recorded 4,103 antisemitic incidents in the UK in 2023, the highest total ever reported to the group in a single year. 

The report's findings, released on Thursday, represent the highest number of antisemitic incidents reported in a year in the UK since consistent monitoring began.

According to its data, drawn from self-reported incidents, two-thirds of the 2023 incidents occurred after the October 7 Hamas attacks in southern Israel: 2,699, compared with 392 over the same period in 2022.

This included 416 incidents reported to the CST, which works to protect British Jews from antisemitism, in the week following the attacks – the largest number in any week last year.

The types of altercations recorded include assault (up 96% since 2022) damage and desecration of Jewish property (up 146%), threats (up 196%) and abusive behaviour (up 149%). Online antisemitism rose by 257%.

"Seismic effect"

CST stated that the "driving force" behind the  147% surge in anti-Jewish abuse last year was Hamas's attack on Israel on the 7th of October.

"This trigger event had a seismic effect on antisemitic incident levels in the UK that outweighs the impact of previous wars involving Israel, and the impact was instant," the report said.

"Thirty-one instances of anti-Jewish hate were reported on 7 October, the day of Hamas’ attack, whereas CST had recorded an average of five incidents per day between 1 January and 6 October."

British Home Secretary James Cleverly condemned the rise in antisemitic abuse as "utterly deplorable".

He said the government had taken steps to confront it, including increasing funding for protective security at Jewish schools and places of worship.

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