US/World News

Antisemitic incidents in Britain rise for 4th straight year

(JTA) — The number of antisemitic incidents documented in Britain increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2019, reaching a record tally of 1,805 cases. Overall, the increase over 2018 was of 7%, but the category of assault increased by 27% to 157 incidents, the Community Security Trust, or CST, British Jewry’s largest watchdog on antisemitism, wrote in its annual report published Wednesday, Feb. 5. It’s the highest incident tally in the assault category ever reported to CST in a calendar year. Antisemitic vandalism rose by 11% to 88 cases.

Among the motives ascertained in 495 cases overall, Labour antisemitism accounted for 45% and the far right a quarter of them. Anti-Zionist and Islamist motives accounted for another 25% and 3.8%, respectively. Incident peaks correlated with periods when discourse around Jews and antisemitism “was prominent in news and politics due to the continuing controversy over allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party,” CST wrote.

Marie van der Zyl, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, in a statement called the rise documented in the report “deeply depressing” and requiring counteraction. But, she added, “Britain remains a happy place for its Jewish community.”

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