Antisemitism is soared to record high during lockdown with peak numbers reported at time of heightened conflict between Israel and Palestine, charity says
- Anti-semitic abuse has hit a record high last year – rising by a third from 2020
- Incidents recorded a total of 2,255 in 2021, up 34% from 1,684 the previous year
- Peak numbers were at time of heightened conflict between Israel and Palestine
- Priti Patel said figures were ‘reminder that antisemitism hasn’t been eradicated’
Anti-semitic abuse hit a record high last year – rising by a third from 2020, a charity has revealed.
The Community Security Trust (CST), which documents such incidents, recorded a total of 2,255 in 2021, up 34 per cent from 1,684 the previous year.
Peak numbers were reported in the summer at a time of heightened conflict between Israel and Palestine, with 661 in May alone – a record monthly total.
These included a convoy of cars with Palestinian flags driven around a north London suburb, its passengers accused of using offensive language and issuing threats against Jewish people.
The CST said that, last year, Manchester and London saw 155 instances of people shouting abuse from cars, over half of which were in May and June. Nationally there were 502 incidents using Nazi themes.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the ‘shocking’ statistics were ‘a stark reminder that the racism of antisemitism has not been eradicated.’
Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured) said the ‘shocking’ statistics were ‘a stark reminder that the racism of antisemitism has not been eradicated’
She added: ’Our Jewish community has been subject to appalling hatred and it is through the strength and determination of the Community Security Trust that we continue in our work together to stop such terrible attacks.
’In addition to supporting the work of CST, I continue to support the police to ensure they have the resources to tackle these despicable incidents so that perpetrators can then be punished with the full force of the law.’
Nationally, across the whole year, there were 502 incidents that used far right or Nazi themes, including 90 where the Holocaust was celebrated.
The number of hate incidents involving schools hit 182, the most reported in any year and up from 54 in 2020, with 99 involving pupils or staff at non-faith schools, up from 14 in 2020.
The CST said: ’It is unusual for such a high proportion of school-related incidents to take place at non-faith schools and CST supported many schoolchildren and teachers who felt isolated and fearful about returning to their place of education and work.’
There were 128 incidents where the victims or offenders were university students or academics, or involved student unions or other student bodies, up from 44 in 2020.
CST chief executive, Mark Gardner, said: ’These record levels of anti-Jewish racism, reported by our Jewish community to CST and police, show how difficult last year was for Jews across Britain.
’These hatreds boil away, taking any excuse to publicly burst out against Jews. This is exactly what happened during and after the Israel-Gaza war of May 2021, from schools and universities, through to the carloads of people who repeatedly drove to Jewish areas and yelled vile abuse at anyone who looked Jewish.’
The CST figures include 176 violent antisemitic incidents, including three classed as extreme because they involved GBH or a threat to life, and 82 instances of damage or desecration of Jewish property.
It recorded 1,844 incidents of abusive behaviour such as abuse verbally or via social media, antisemitic graffiti, and one-off hate mail. There were 10 incidents of mass-mailed antisemitic leaflets or emails.
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