Record number of anti-Semitic incidents blamed on 'mood of racism' in UK following Brexit

Anti-Semitic incidents reportedly rose by over a third in the UK last year.

Record number of anti-Semitic incidents blamed on ‘mood of racism’ in UK following BrexitIBTimes UK

The record number of anti-Semitic incidents in the UK in 2016 has been partially blamed on the "mood of racism" surrounding the Brexit vote.

A report from the Community Security Trust (CST), a charity which "protects British Jews from anti-Semitism and related threats", has claimed that 2016 was the worst year on record for anti-Semitism in Britain.

Speaking to IBTimes UK, Mark Gardner, the Director of Communications at the CST, said: "I think there is a general mood of racism out there, a mood of anger. People are saying things now that perhaps previously they had inside their heads but didn't feel bold enough to express."

Advertisement

"There is a lot of racism out there, around the time of Brexit but continuing today that mood."

In its annual report on anti-Semitism across the UK, the CST said incidents rose from 960 in 2015, to 1,309 in 2016. That works out at an average of 105 incidents a month, ranging from verbal abuse on the street, to violent assaults.

UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "Anti-Semitism is a deplorable form of hatred that has absolutely no place in a tolerant, open and diverse Britain that works for everyone. It is vital we ensure the safety and security of our Jewish community and this Government will continue to do all we can to stamp out these vile attacks and encourage those who experience them to come forward."

The CST also claimed that the ongoing controversy surrounding anti-Semitism in the Labour Party has helped push the number of incidents up. Mr Gardner told IBT that he was "astonished" by the claims, and that it was "very discouraging for Jewish people".

UK anti-Semitism in numbersIBTimesUK/Wochit

The deputy leader of Labour, Tom Watson, said: "It's vital that we continue to highlight the abuse Jewish people are experiencing and I have made a commitment to do exactly that. We must root out anti-Semitism whenever it takes place and wherever it exists, as a party and as a country."

The report claims that there were 107 reports of violent anti-Semitic assaults in 2016, the highest number since 2010. It also stated that the vast majority of the incidents took place in London and Manchester.

The CST first started to record anti-Semitic incidents in 1984. The charity say it defines anti-Semitism as "malicious act aimed at Jewish people, organisations or property, which shows evidence of anti-Semitic motivation, language or targeting".

Advertisement

© Copyright 2017 IBTimes Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.