Anti-Semitic incidents in UK hit record high for 3rd straight year


(JTA) — The number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in the United Kingdom rose to 1,652 in 2018, marking a new record for the third straight year.

The cases recorded in the annual report of the Community Security Trust, or CST, which is British Jewry’s largest watchdog on anti-Semitism, represented a 16 percent increase over the previous year.

The report published Wednesday evening did show a 17 percent decrease in the number of violent anti-Semitic assaults, to 123 in 2018 from 149 the previous year.

The most common single type of incident in 2018 involved verbal abuse randomly directed at visibly Jewish people in public, accounting for 29 percent of the annual tally, or 483 incidents.

In 502 cases recorded last year, witnesses gave descriptions of the alleged perpetrators. Among them, 64 percent were described as Europeans and 37 percent as Arab, South Asian or black.

Months when public debate about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party tended to see an uptick in incidents, the report said. Incidents directly linked to Labour numbered 148.

In one incident in London in December, an altercation over a transaction ended with the victim being beaten and cut with a knife while the offender said “I’m going to kill you, you f***ing Jew.”

In an incident in May, the perpetrators shouted racist insults at a Jewish man walking to synagogue on Shabbat. They pelted him with food from McDonald’s.

CST has recorded anti-Semitic incidents since 1984. The number of incidents since 2013 has more than tripled from the 535 recorded that year.