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Report: Falling Antisemitic Numbers Don’t Mean UK Antisemitism Is Down

A fence with anti-Israeli graffiti in London. Anti-Semitic incidents recorded in Britain have fallen to their lowest annual level since 2005.

A fence with anti-Israeli graffiti in London. Anti-Semitic incidents recorded in Britain have fallen to their lowest annual level since 2005.
Photo Credit: CST

Anti-Semitic incidents recorded in Britain have fallen to their lowest annual level since 2005, the Jewish Community Security Trust reported last week, explaining the decline with the relative industrial peace in the Middle East, Reuters reported.

Altogether, 529 antisemitic incidents were recorded by CST in 2013, an 18 per cent decrease from the 649 antisemitic incidents recorded in 2012 and the lowest annual total recorded by CST since 2005. The highest ever annual total recorded by CST was in 2009, when 931 antisemitic incidents were recorded.

But the lower figures may not necessarily be a cause for celebration, according to the CST report, which speculates that it is “likely that there is significant under-reporting of antisemitic incidents to both CST and the Police, and that the number of antisemitic incidents that took place is significantly higher than the number recorded in this report.”

The report quotes a 2013 survey of Jewish experiences and perceptions of antisemitism in the EU, which found that 72 per cent of British Jews who had experienced antisemitic harassment over the previous five years had not reported it to the Police or to any other organization.

The survey also found that 57 per cent of British Jews who had experienced antisemitic violence or the threat of violence had not reported it; and 46 per cent of British Jews who had suffered antisemitic vandalism to their home or car had not reported it. The same survey also found that, over the previous 12 months, 21 per cent of British Jews had suffered antisemitic harassment, 3 per cent had suffered antisemitic violence or the threat of violence and 2 per cent had experienced antisemitic vandalism to their home or car. Similarly, the Crime Survey for England and Wales estimates that around 40 per cent of all hate crimes come to the attention of the Police.

When it comes to violent antisemitic attacks, which, naturally, are more likely to be reported, there was little difference between the 2013 and 2012 figures. There were 69 violent antisemitic assaults reported to CST in 2013, exactly the same number as was recorded in 2012.

The one difference between 2013 and 2012 was that the 69 violent antisemitic incidents recorded in 2013 did not include incidents of extreme violence, involving grievous bodily harm (GBH) or a threat to life. In 2012, the CST recorded two incidents of extreme violence in 2012 – the same as in 2011.

Incidents of Damage and Desecration to Jewish property fell by 8 per cent, from 53 incidents in 2012 to 49 in 2013. This is the lowest number of incidents recorded by CST in this category since 2005, when 48 such incidents were recorded.

In publishing there was good news: only 5 incidents recorded in the category of comprises mass-produced antisemitic mailings and emails were recorded in 2013, which is a 58 per cent decrease from the 12 incidents of this type recorded in 2012.

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