Record Number of anti-Semitic Incidents Reported in U.K. in 2019

British watchdog notes 10 percent increase over same period in 2018, amounting to highest number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in a six month period

An orthodox Jewish man walks past a shop in Golders Green in north London, May 3, 2016.
HANNAH MCKAY/REUTERS

A record number of nearly 900 anti-Semitic incidents have been recorded in the United Kingdom for the first six months of 2019.

The Community Security Trust, or CST, which is British Jewry’s largest watchdog on anti-Semitism, released its January-June 2019 Antisemitic Incidents Report on Thursday. The 892 incidents reported in the first half of 2019 is the highest number recorded in that six-month period and is a 10 percent increase from the 810 incidents recorded during the same period in 2018.

There were 38 incidents of damage and desecration of Jewish property in the first six months of 2019; 710 incidents of abusive behavior, including verbal abuse, anti-Semitic graffiti, anti-Semitic abuse via social media and cases of hate mail; 49 direct anti-Semitic threats; and ten cases of mass-mailed anti-Semitic leaflets or emails.

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Some 323, or 36 percent, of the anti-Semitic incidents involved social media, compared to 221 incidents, or 27 percent of the total, on social media in the first half of 2018.

The highest monthly totals in the first half of 2019 were in February and March, with 182 and 169 anti-Semitic incidents respectively. They occurred when issues relating to Jews and anti-Semitism in the Labour Party were prominent in the news and politics, CST pointed out.

CST recorded a 37 percent increase in the number of violent anti-Semitic assaults, to 85 in the first six months of 2019, up from 62 in the first six months of 2018.

Almost two thirds of the 892 antisemitic incidents were recorded in Greater London and Greater Manchester, the two largest Jewish communities in the U.K.