LONDON (Reuters) – Anti-Semitic incidents in Britain reached a record high last year, driven by reaction to a rise in violence in Israel and Gaza, a Jewish advisory body said on Thursday.
The annual report by the Community Security Trust (CST), which advises Britain’s estimated 280,000 Jews on security matters, found there had been 2,255 anti-Semitic incidents reported in 2021, a rise of 34% from the previous year.
“These record levels of anti-Jewish racism, reported by our Jewish community to CST and police, show how difficult last year was for Jews across Britain,” the CST’s Chief Executive Mark Gardner said.
The number of incidents spiked when there was an increase in conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants, the report said.
Last May, 661 incidents were reported – the highest monthly total – with another 210 in June, and a third of all the incidents involved language or images related to issues in the Middle East, or included an anti-Zionist motivation.
The CST also said there had been 176 violent attacks reported, an increase of 76% from the year before.
The report detailed the convictions of a number of people for anti-Jewish related crimes, including one man who was jailed for setting up a neo-Nazi group which had encouraged “the eradication of Jewish people” and another who had posted anti-Semitic homemade videos on social media.
“These statistics are shocking and a stark reminder that the racism of anti-Semitism has not been eradicated,” Home Secretary (interior minister) Priti Patel said.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by James Davey)