02 August 2010 (Jewish Telegraph)
ANTISEMITIC incidents are down — but the British Jewish community has been warned against complacency.
Figures released by the CST today show that the number of antisemitic incidents in Britain in the first six months of 2010 fell by more than half compared to the same period in 2009.
Of the 310 incidents, 122 were in Greater London, 89 in Greater Manchester, 12 in Leeds, seven in Liverpool and five in Glasgow.
There were 43 violent antisemitic assaults reported to CST in the first half of 2010.
Forty-five of those were classified as damage and desecration of Jewish property and 201 incidents in the category of abusive behaviour, which includes verbal abuse, hate mail and antisemitic graffiti on non-Jewish property. But compared to the first six months of 2008, then has been a 56 per cent rise in the number of antisemitic incidents reported to the CST.
And detailed analysis of the types and locations of the incidents recorded in Greater Manchester suggest that the increase is a result of a shifting and increasingly visible Jewish community — especially in certain parts of north Manchester.
CST spokesman Mark Gardner told the Jewish Telegraph: “The figures for 2009 were ridiculously bad, so we should not get lulled into thinking the figures for the first six months of this year are acceptable.
“They are worse than 2008 and worse than any year in the 1990s.”
The 2009 figure was abnormally high due to the record number of antisemitic incidents because of the reactions to Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, in Gaza.
But there was only one trigger event during the first half of this year — the Israeli interception of a flotilla of ships bound for Gaza at the end of May.
That led to a small spike of antisemitic incidents in the UK.
Manchester Jewish Representative Council president Lucille Cohen said she was concerned by the figures.
She told the Jewish Telegraph: “We would urge people to report every antisemitic incident.
“The general attitude of demonising Israel is being reflected in attacks on the Jewish community in Britain.”
The CST recorded 43 violent antisemitic assaults in the first half of 2010 — a fall of 46 per cent from the 79 violent assaults recorded in the first half of 2009.
And this year’s figures are similar to 2008, when there were 44 violent antisemitic assaults, of which one was categorised as extreme violence.
Mr Gardner pointed out that hatred for Israel sometimes manifested itself into antisemitism.
He explained: “There are many different reasons for this — but it is a chicken and egg situation.
“We cannot get away from the fact that Israel is singled out for scrutiny and hatred, as are Jewish people.”
Many of the antisemitic incidents involve brief public encounters.
A physical description of the perpetrator was provided to the CST in 100 of the 310 antisemitic incidents.
Of these, 45 were described as white, eight as eastern European, six as black, 29 as Asian, one of Far Eastern and 11 of Arab appearance.
The Parliamentary Committee against Antisemitism also expressed worry over the report.
Director Danny Stone told the Jewish Telegraph: “It is a concern — particularly given the work that goes into combating antisemitism.
“We will be redoubling our efforts on that front.
“The politics of the Middle East seem to be playing out on the streets of Britain and things need to be looked at more carefully.”
Of the 310 antisemitic incidents reported to CST during the first half of this year, 38 per cent showed some evidence of political motivation, usually based on the language or imagery used during the incident.
Sixty-six of these showed evidence of far-right motivation, 32 showed anti-Zionist motivation and 20 showed Islamist motivation.
Taken from: http://www.jewishtelegraph.com/