Reported violent antisemitic assaults, including attacks using “extreme violence”, have doubled in the first six months of 2015.
The rise in antisemitic violence is part of a 53% increase in overall antisemitic incidents across the UK. The 53% rise is against the first six months of 2014, which in turn saw a 38% increase against the first six months of 2013. 2014 was the worst year on record for antisemitic incidents, although these latest CST figures suggest that 2015 could be worse still.
In London, the latest Metropolitan Police figures showed a 134% rise in antisemitic crime in the last 12 months (almost 200% in Barnet, which has the most concentrated Jewish population in the UK).
72% of antisemitic incidents go unreported, according to a study by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency.
It was not possible to ascertain the ideology of the perpetrators in all cases, but more than 1 in 4 incidents (26%) referenced neo-Nazism. 7% referenced Israel, 3% referenced Islamism and another 3% referenced more than one motivation. In his speech against extremism last week, the Prime Minister identified extremism as a gateway to antisemitism.
Almost a fifth of the antisemitic incidents reported now take place online and Campaign Against Antisemitism has called on social networks to take proactive steps against antisemitic abuse. Our talks with Twitter broke down however when Twitter’s Director of Public Policy for Europe wrote in an e-mail: “Your emphasis on proactive monitoring and reporting is not compatible with our basic structure and policies as a platform. I therefore think it is not possible to take this any further.”
Social networks say it is too difficult to proactively target antisemitic abuse online, but manage to proactively target advertising audiences, proactively removing child pornography and proactively blocking copyright content. We reject those excuses and in his speech, the Prime Minister said: “Well I’m sorry – I just don’t buy that.”