The number of anti-Semitic incidents documented in Britain increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2019, reaching a record tally of 1,805 cases, JTA reported Wednesday, citing the Community Security Trust (CST) annual report on anti-Semitism in the UK.
Overall, the increase over 2018 was of 7%, but the category of assault increased by 27% to 157 incidents, said CST, British Jewry’s largest watchdog on anti-Semitism.
It’s the highest incident tally in the assault category ever reported to CST in a calendar year. Anti-Semitic vandalism rose by 11% to 88 cases.
Among the motives ascertained in 495 cases overall, Labour anti-Semitism 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 anti-Semitism “was prominent in news and politics due to the continuing controversy over allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party,” CST wrote.
The perpetrators were described in 560 of the incidents. Of these, 67% were described as light-skinned Caucasians, 17% were said to be dark-skinned Caucasians, 13% were reported as black and 10% were said to be Arab.
“These proportions have fluctuated very little from 2018, and are broadly typical of a period without a significant trigger event from the Middle East,” CST wrote.
Marie van der Zyl, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, called the rise documented in the report “deeply depressing” and requiring counteraction. At the same time, she added, “Britain remains a happy place for its Jewish community.”
A report released by Britain’s Jewish community last August found that a record number of nearly 900 anti-Semitic incidents had been recorded in the United Kingdom for the first six months of 2019 alone.
A government report released this past October found that the number of religion-based hate crimes against Jews in England and Wales nearly doubled in 2018.
In late December, a man walked into a kosher butcher shop in the London neighborhood of Stamford Hill and shouted invective against Jews before fleeing the scene.
Earlier that month, a senior employee of a Jewish organization in London was injured in an assault that police said was a hate crime. The suspect was arrested but later released on bail.
Also in December, a man was arrested for a hate crime after subjecting a Jewish man to anti-Semitic abuse on a London bus.