The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United Kingdom fell in 2011 for the second year running, according to a report published on Feb. 2, 2011 by the Community Security Trust (CST). Around 300,000 Jews live in the UK. To see the report: http://blog.thecst.org.uk/
CST, a charity which monitors anti-Semitism since 1994 and provides security for the Jewish community in Britain, recorded 586 anti-Semitic incidents across the country in 2011, most of which were reported directly to CST by victims and witnesses.
The 586 incidents in 2011 are a 9% fall from the 645 anti-Semitic incidents recorded in 2010, but is still the fourth-highest annual total on record.
The last six years have seen the six highest annual totals so far recorded by CST: 598 anti-Semitic incidents in 2006, 561 in 2007, 546 in 2008, 929 in 2009, 645 in 2010 and now 586 in 2011.
For the first time, there were more anti-Semitic incidents in Greater Manchester than in Greater London, according to the report. The charity said that this is mainly the result of improved reporting of incidents by Manchester’s Jewish community, the work of Greater Manchester Police and a close working relationship it has with CST.
In the report, the breakdown of the incident types shows that there were 92 violent anti-Semitic assaults during the year, including one classified as “extreme violence,” which CST deems as an attack potentially causing loss of life or grievous bodily harm. This represents a fall of 19% from the 114 assaults reported in 2010, and is the lowest number of violent assaults since 2008, when 88 were recorded.
The incident of extreme violence involved a Jewish family who were filling up their car at a petrol station in Manchester. As one of the family members went to pay, a car with two white women reversed sharply into her, knocking her to the ground. The occupants then got out of their car, shouted, “Dirty Jew” and spat on the injured woman on the ground, before getting back into their car and driving away.
One of the examples of assault highlighted in the report states that a visibly Jewish man was walking to his car when the driver of another vehicle spat at him and said “You Jew.” The perpetrator drove off but then turned around and came back, and shouted, “Free Palestine!” at the victim.
There were also 63 incidents of desecration of Jewish property, a fall of 24% from 83 incidents in 2010.
This includes gravestone desecration at a Jewish cemetery in the Midlands; a Jewish student living in student accommodation in Glasgow finding a picture of a hanukkia on her front door had been removed and replaced with a swastika; and “F*** all Jews” written on the gates of a synagogue in Belfast.
There were also 394 incidents of abusive behavior, including verbal abuse, anti-Semitic graffiti and oneoff cases of hate mail.
An example of abusive behavior reported to CST included an incident in a London supermarket when a Jewish woman standing at the checkout overheard a man at the next till talking loudly about Israel and Gaza. She then heard the man say, “Hitler had the right idea. It’s a shame he didn’t gas them all.”
A fall of 9% of direct anti-Semitic threats – which includes direct threats, whether verbal or written – was also recorded, from 32 incidents reported to CST in 2010, to 29 incidents in 2011. Eight cases of mass-mailed anti-Semitic leaflets or e-mails were reported.
In 2011, a Jewish man received a leaflet through his door stating that 9/11 was carried out by Israel.
“The same forces behind Israel are the same forces that created 7/7 [2005 London terror attack], WWI, WWII, the Russian Revolution, the French Revolution, every conceivable act of terrorism and financial downfall in history, including this recession,” the leaflet claimed.
“This fall in incident numbers for a second year is welcome news, but it follows an especially worrying high in 2009,” said CST Spokesman Mark Gardner. “Anti-Semitism is not the most important feature in British Jewish life, but it remains a serious problem in some parts of society, and retains the potential to worsen significantly in reaction to external events.”
Gardner said that CST will continue to work closely with the police and its partners inside and outside government, “to support those whose lives are blighted by bigotry and hatred.”
The Community Security Trust (CST) is a British charity established in 1994 to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish community in the UK.
The CST provides security advice and training for Jewish schools, synagogues and communal organizations and gives assistance to those bodies that are affected by anti-Semitism. Every year CST helps secure over 300 synagogues; over 120 Jewish schools; more than 1000 Jewish communal organizations and buildings; and approximately 1000 communal events.
The CST also assists and supports individual members of the Jewish community who have been affected by anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incidents. It advises and represents the Jewish community on matters of anti-Semitism, terrorism and security and works with police, government and international bodies. All this work is provided at no charge.
The CST has five offices, 55 members of staff and a network of 3,000 volunteers from all parts of the Jewish community, who are trained by the CST and the Police. The organization’s philosophy is that the Jewish community is responsible for its own security. It works closely with Police Services around the country and is recognized by Government and Police as a model of a minority community security organization.