The CST January-June 2019 Antisemitic Incidents Report shows a record high total of 892 antisemitic incidents in the UK in the first six months of 2019.
This is the highest number of incidents CST has ever recorded in the January to June period of any year and is a ten percent increase from the 810 incidents recorded during the same period in 2018; which was itself a record high for this six month period, and formed part of a record annual total of 1,688 antisemitic incidents for the whole of 2018.
A further 270 reports of potential incidents were received by CST in the first six months of 2019, but were not deemed to be antisemitic and are not included in this total of 892 antisemitic incidents. Many of these 270 potential incidents involved suspicious activity or possible hostile reconnaissance at Jewish locations; criminal activity affecting Jewish people and buildings; and anti-Israel activity that did not include antisemitic language, motivation or targeting, says the report.
CST recorded 323 antisemitic incidents that involved social media in the first six months of 2019, comprising 36 percent of the overall total of 892 incidents, compared to 221 incidents on social media in the first half of 2018 (27 percent of the total). This increase of 46 percent in the number of online incidents recorded by CST is the most obvious single factor explaining why the overall total rose by ten percent in the first half of the year.
"It is difficult to assess whether this reflects an increase in the amount of antisemitism online, or more reporting of the phenomenon to CST. In any event, these totals are indicative and are likely to understate the scale of the problem: targeted campaigns directed at individual victims often involve dozens of social media accounts sending hundreds or even thousands of tweets, images or posts within a concentrated timespan, but each campaign of this type will only be recorded by CST as a single incident. Incidents involving social media are only recorded by CST if they have been reported to CST by either the victim or a witness; if the content shows evidence of antisemitic language, motivation or targeting; and if the offender is based in the United Kingdom or has directly targeted a UK-based victim," says the report.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Hate Crime, Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said, “We value the work of our partners at the Community Security Trust in protecting communities, helping us to understand the nature and extent of the antisemitic hostility and for sharing their expertise with others who suffer similar abuse. It can never be acceptable to abuse someone because of their ethnicity or religion, but we see that there are still far too many in our society who are prepared to act illegally, fueled by global events, divisions in our own society or by bigoted ideologies. The police will continue to improve our services to victims and to help bring offenders to justice."