CST’s Antisemitic Incidents Report 2011 is published today. The report shows that the number of antisemitic incidents in the United Kingdom fell in 2011 for the second year running.
A total of 586 incidents were reported to CST in 2011, a 9% fall from the 645 antisemitic incidents recorded in 2010. Despite this second successive annual fall, the 2011 total is still the fourth-highest annual total since CST began recording antisemitic incidents in 1984. The last six years have seen the six highest annual totals so far recorded by CST: 598 antisemitic incidents in 2006, 561 in 2007, 546 in 2008, 929 in 2009, 645 in 2010 and now 586 in 2011. The 2009 peak reflected antisemitic reactions to that year’s conflict between Israel and Hamas, illustrating the impact external events can have on British antisemitism.
A further 437 reports of potential incidents were received by CST, but upon investigation were not deemed to be antisemitic and are not included in this total. Most incidents are reported directly to CST by incident victims or witnesses.
For the first time ever, CST recorded more antisemitic incidents in Greater Manchester than in Greater London. This is mainly the result of improved reporting of incidents by Manchester’s Jewish community to CST and to Greater Manchester Police, and a close working relationship between CST and GMP.
The breakdown of the incident types shows that there were 92 violent antisemitic assaults in 2011, including one classified as ‘Extreme Violence’; 63 incidents of Damage & Desecration of Jewish property; 394 incidents of Abusive Behaviour, including verbal abuse, antisemitic graffiti and one-off cases of hate mail; 29 direct antisemitic threats; and 8 cases of mass-mailed antisemitic leaflets or emails.
CST spokesman Mark Gardner said:
This fall in incident numbers for a second year is welcome news, but it follows an especially worrying high in 2009.
Antisemitism is not the most important feature in British Jewish life, but it remains a serious problem in some parts of society, and retains the potential to worsen significantly in reaction to external events.
CST will continue to work closely with the police and our partners inside and outside government, to support those whose lives are blighted by bigotry and hatred.