UK police. (AP/Tim Ireland) (AP/Tim Ireland)
UK police
Anti-semitism in London

Anti-Semitic graffiti on a north London street in 2008. (AP)

A new report on anti-Semitism in the UK shows a serious increase in incidents against the British Jewish community.

Jews in the United Kingdom have been slammed by a tidal of wave of anti-Semitism in recent months, a Jewish monitoring organization stated Wednesday.

The Communal Security Trust (CST), a London-based organization, published its Anti-Semitic Incident Report for January to June 2015, which shows a staggering 53% increase in anti-Semitic incidents compared to the same period last year.

CST recorded 473 anti-Semitic incidents during the first six months of 2015, compared to 309 in the first half of 2014. The 2014 figure was itself an increase of 38 percent from the 223 anti-Semitic incidents recorded during the first six months of 2013.

The hate-related incidents included 44 violent anti-Semitic assaults, two of which were classified as ‘Extreme Violence,’ meaning that they involved grievous bodily harm (GBH) or a threat to life; 35 incidents of damage and desecration of Jewish property; 36 direct anti-Semitic threats; five cases of mass-mailed anti-Semitic leaflets or emails and 353 incidents of abusive behavior, including verbal abuse, anti-Semitic graffiti and anti-Semitic abuse.

Detailed analysis of the timing, content and sources of each one of these recorded anti-Semitic incidents suggests that while they may partly reflect a serious rise in incident levels, the primary explanation for the rise is most likely to be a greater willingness by people to report antisemitism, either to CST or to police, the report explained.

“We welcome the apparent increase in reporting of anti-Semitic incidents but regret the concern and anxiety about antisemitism that this reflects. CST, our communal partners, police and government need to know the facts so that we can best support our community now and in an uncertain future,” CST stated.

CST has recorded anti-Semitic incidents since 1984. The highest total CST has ever recorded for the January-to-June period was 629 incidents in the first half of 2009. In addition to the 473 anti-Semitic incidents recorded during the first six months of 2015, a further 333 reports were received by CST, but they were not deemed to be anti-Semitic and are not included in this total.

The year 2014 saw the highest total recorded by CST for a full calendar year, the watchdog emphasized, with 1,174 anti-Semitic incidents recorded. This could be partially attributed to Operation Protective Edge, which raised the ire of anti-Semitic Muslims around the world.

‘Vile, Wrong and Totally Unacceptable’

Separate figures, released by individual UK police forces and reported by the BBC, showed 459 anti-Semitic incidents recorded by the Metropolitan Police in London in 2014/15, up from 193 in 2013/14. In Greater Manchester, anti-Semitic reports increased from 82 to 172.

BBC quoted Communities Minister Baroness Susan Williams as saying that anti-Semitism and hate crimes are “vile, wrong and totally unacceptable in our society.” They are “an affront to the British values that we hold dear.”

“Whilst one anti-Semitic incident is one too many, it is positive that members of the Jewish community now feel more able to speak out against these pernicious crimes knowing that their government will hear their voice and act decisively to protect them,” she added.

British Prime Minister David Cameron recently announced his plan to combat Muslim extremism and anti-Semitism in the UK.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel