The Community Security Trust - www.thecst.org.uk
UK antisemitism: current situation
The correlation between Middle East conflict and antisemitism against Jewish Diaspora communities is well known. It is one of the primary reasons for the work of CST, and the partnerships that we have (out of necessity) with Jewish communities, Police, Government, politicians and good people of all faiths and none.
As of noon today, approximately 47 antisemitic incidents have been reported to CST in the two weeks since 1st July. This compares with 58 incidents for all of July 2013, which was the second worst month for incidents in all of last year. In very basic terms, this month’s antisemitic incident levels are almost double what would have been expected.
Some of the 47 incidents are yet to be fully analysed and the figures may yet show slight change, but around 30 of them appear to be directly attributable to the current conflict: because of the verbal or written component, or other indicators. Only three of the 47 incidents include actual violent assault. (Two of these are the can and egg throwing incidents shown below. The other may or may not be overseas-linked and is not currently in the 30 total.)
Of the 30 incidents apparently related to the conflict, the overwhelming majority involve verbal or written abuse and threats, either face to face, or in phone calls, graffiti, emails and online (usually via social media). The incidents have occurred throughout the country.
CST is especially concerned by incidents in which people attending pro-Palestinian demonstrations have turned antisemitic.
In Manchester on 12 July, after a pro-Palestinian rally that included a “Drive for Justice” to the BBC, a group of four of five cars with occupants of south Asian ethnic appearance passed through the Jewish neighbourhood of BroughtonPark. Some of the cars flew Palestinian flags, and occupants shouted and swore at Jewish pedestrians (including “Heil Hitler”). Cans and eggs were thrown at Jewish pedestrians from at least two of the cars. Similarly, that same day in Glasgow on the fringes of a demonstration, a man of south Asian appearance was heard shouting “f**king kill the Jews”. CST has made police aware of all these incidents.
London witnessed the largest pro-Palestinian rally, on 11 July. Demonstrators included veteran far right activist James Thring, photographed below, determinedly making the Israel-Holocaust link.
The Holocaust theme continued on Twitter, where the hash tag “#Hitlerwasright” was trending, perhaps partly due to people objecting to its use. CST has been informed by members of the public that the Hitler theme and imagery can also be currently seen in Facebook comment chains for forthcoming pro-Palestinian demonstrations, organised by groups such as Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.