Express Digest

Hate crimes against Jewish people soar to record levels

Attacks against Jewish people have rocketed to record levels.

A charity that monitors anti-Semitic abuse recorded 767 hate crimes in the first six months of 2017 – a rise of 30 per cent compared to the same period last year.

It was the highest figure since statistics were first kept 33 years ago.

The Community Security Trust (CST) said there had been an ‘unprecedented’ run of more than 100 incidents each month stretching back to April 2016.

A charity that monitors anti-Semitic abuse recorded 767 hate crimes in the first six months of 2017 – a rise of 30 per cent compared to the same period last year

The average monthly incidents total is now roughly double that of five years ago.

The high number of attacks was due to events and factors that had created an ‘atmosphere that has the potential to motivate anti-Semitic incident offenders’, said the report.

These included issues that had attracted public debate, such as the Labour party disciplinary hearing into and suspension of former London mayor Ken Livingstone for claiming Hitler supported Zionism.

Attacks included verbal abuse at Jewish people in public, extremists attacking synagogues or doing the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute or daubing swastikas on community centres or places of worship.

The CST said there was ‘no obvious single cause’ for the total, which dwarfed the previous high of 626 incidents in the first half of 2009.

It said previous peaks had been caused by anti-Semitic reactions to specific ‘trigger events’ leading to temporary ‘spikes’ in incidents – such as the Israeli bombardment of Gaza in 2014.

Better reporting of incidents from victims and witnesses, an increase in security at Jewish buildings and closer collaboration with the police accounted for some of the rise, said the CST.

But it added: ‘It is likely it is also down to a general, sustained rise in the baseline number of anti-Semitic incidents.’

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: ‘Anti-Semitism has no place in this country, which prides itself on openness, diversity and tolerance’

The most common type of incident recorded involved verbal abuse randomly directed at Jewish people ‘while going about their daily business in public places’ – 568 cases.

In most instances the victims wore ‘religious or traditional clothing, school uniform or jewellery bearing Jewish symbols’.

There were 568 incidents of abusive behaviour reported – the highest total ever recorded in the category, which includes verbal abuse, hate mail and anti-Semitic graffiti.

Incidents of damage and desecration to Jewish property increased by two-thirds to 51, while there were 80 violent anti-Semitic assaults reported to the CST – up 78 per cent.

But Jewish people are increasingly being targeted on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, with 140 recorded incidents. The problem is likely to be worse because the CST only collated cases where the offender was based in the UK.

CST chief executive David Delew said: ‘It is sadly clear that the overall situation has deteriorated. Anti-Semitism is having an increasing impact on the lives of British Jews and the hatred and anger that lies behind it is spreading.’

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: ‘Anti-Semitism has no place in this country, which prides itself on openness, diversity and tolerance.’

She denounced the ‘deplorable crimes’ and said the Government was working to stamp out the incidents.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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