Thomas Bridge 06 February 2015

Antisemitic attacks in UK rise to highest ever levels

The number of antisemitic incidents in the UK has reached its highest ever recorded level, as communities are urged to stamp out prejudice.

A study by the Community Security Trust found the number of antisemtic incidents more than doubled last year in comparison to 2013, charting occurrences of violent assaults, threats and verbal abuse across the UK.

The charity the conflict in Israel and Gaza over July and August continued to have an impact on the number of antisemitic incidents in September, when 103 confrontations were recorded in the sixth-highest ever monthly total. In comparison, only 59 incidents were charted in September 2013.

Over three quarters of incidents recorded during 2014 took place in Greater London and Greater Manchester, which hold the two largest Jewish communities in the UK. The capital saw 583 incidents last year, compared to 246 in 2013, while CST recorded a 79% rise in incidents in Greater Manchester last year, from 173 in 2013 to 309.

Some 34 antisemitic incidents were also charted in Hetfordshire, 27 in both Leeds and Liverpool, 21 in Glasgow, 14 in Birmingham and nine in Bradford.

Home secretary Theresa May, said the figures were 'a warning to everyone to do more to stop antisemitism in Britain'.

Labour’s shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, added that more needed to be done to stop prejudice and hatred including ‘promoting common values in schools and communities’.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles last month said at the Board of Deputies of British Jews: 'I consider antisemitism to be a cancer. By which I mean this: that occasionally we are in remission from that cancer of anti-Semitism, but without constant vigilance, without constant health checks, it comes back.

He added that antisemitism was a 'direct threat to everyone who lives in this country', while pledging to tackle the issue through education.

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