CST op-ed in Jewish Chronicle
6 February 2015
Today's Jewish Chronicle has the below article by CST's Director of Communications, Mark Gardner, discussing CST's latest annual report.
The headline for CSTs annual Antisemitic Incidents Report for 2014 shows 1,168 antisemitic incidents, the first time we have recorded over 1,000 incidents. These are antisemitic hate crimes and hate incidents, reported to CST offices by victims, or reported by third parties, such as exchange programmes with Police forces.
The message appears simple, that antisemitism is increasing. More accurate is to say that 2014 confirmed the post 2000 pattern: the antisemitism problem that has driven CSTs work and security measures for many years.
Prior to 2014, the worst recorded year was 2009, with 931 incidents. Totals had generally fallen since then, reaching 535 in 2013, the lowest figure since 2004. Writing on this for the Jewish Chronicle, I welcomed the fall but warned it was due to the lack of big triggers for antisemitic surges...wide-eyed anti-Israel passions continue, as do malign chatter against Jews and Zionists. The lid stayed on the antisemitic pressure cooker in 2013, but the heat is still on.
I take no pleasure in having been correct. Last summer, July and August alone saw more incidents than in the whole of 2013. The summer war between Israel and Gaza lasted for approximately 50 days, which was significantly longer than the previous major conflicts in 2009 (22 days) and 2006 (34 days). That is reflected both in the cold statistics, and the unquantifiable pressures that many British Jews reported feeling at the time.
Now, last months dreadful terrorist attack in Paris has caused many people to feel similar pressures again. This is understandable, but despondency should doubly motivate us to contextualise this against the overall excellence of Jewish life; and all that we have built and achieved, especially since the year 2000. CST works to protect those achievements and we thank you for your continuing partnership in that effort.