CST Blog

Antisemitic incidents – 18 October update

18 October 2023

This is an update to the blog post of 16/10/23

In the 12 days inclusive between the Hamas terror attack on Israel (Saturday 7 October) and Wednesday 18 October, CST recorded at least 457 antisemitic incidents across the UK. This is the highest ever total reported to CST across a twelve-day period. CST has been recording antisemitic incidents since 1984.

This is also a provisional total that is almost certain to increase further as we receive more delayed reports of incidents covering this period, and while we continue to verify and log all the reports that we have currently received.

For comparison, CST recorded 55 antisemitic incidents over the same 12 days in 2022. This means that we have seen an increase in anti-Jewish hate acts of 731% this year compared to the same period last year.

These are all instances of anti-Jewish racism, wherein offenders are targeting Jewish people, communities and institutions for their Jewishness. In many cases, these hateful comments, threats to life and physical attacks are laced with the language and symbols of pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel politics.

Even compared to periods of previous conflicts involving Israel, these statistics are unprecedentedly high. The last time a significant spike in antisemitism related to events in the Middle East was recorded occurred in May 2021. During the first 12 days of that escalation in violence, 362 antisemitic incidents were reported to CST. Across the first 12 days of the conflict in July 2014, we recorded 98. Bear in mind, when comparing these to the 320 anti-Jewish hate incidents recorded since Saturday 7 October, that the figures for 2021 and 2014 are final totals including all late-reported incidents, whereas the current total of 457 incidents is only provisional and will almost certainly increase further.

In addition to the 457 anti-Jewish hate incidents recorded so far, CST also logged at least 278 incidents that have not been classified as antisemitic. These include criminal acts affecting Jewish people and property, suspicious behaviour near to Jewish locations, and anti-Israel activity that is not directed at the Jewish community or does not use antisemitic language.

The 457 antisemitic incidents recorded over this twelve-day period fall into the following categories:

  • 15 Assaults
  • 25 Damage & Desecration to Jewish property
  • 57 direct Threats
  • 360 Abusive Behaviour, including verbal abuse, graffiti on non-Jewish property, hate mail and online abuse

CST has recorded 249 antisemitic incidents in Greater London; 75 in Greater Manchester; 21 in West Yorkshire; ten in Hertfordshire; ten in the West Midlands; nine in Nottinghamshire; seven in Scotland; six in Thames Valley; and the remaining 70 incidents were spread across 23 different police regions around the UK.

Three hundred and twenty-nine of the 457 antisemitic incidents occurred offline and 128 were online. Many of the online incidents were ‘pile-ons’ involving multiple antisemitic posts and comments all in the same thread or conversation; CST records these as a single incident.

Forty antisemitic incidents were related to universities across the UK. In the first six months of 2023, CST recorded just 17 incidents of this kind. Meanwhile, 29 incidents targeted Jewish schools, schoolchildren and teachers at non-Jewish schools, or schoolchildren on their way to or from their place of education. Between January and June 2023, 67 incidents in the school sector were reported to CST. Whenever Israel is at war, CST records an increase in anti-Jewish hate across the country, and an acute rise is usually reported specifically in and related to places of education.

Examples of antisemitic incidents recorded by CST since Saturday 7 October include:

  • Posters of Jewish hostages taken by Hamas have been defaced in London, Leeds and Manchester
  • “F*ck the Jews” was heard at a pro-Palestinian demonstration outside the BBC headquarters
  • On a radio broadcast, the speaker called the listeners to kill by the sword the enemies of Islam in a holy jihad, adding that Israel has no right to exist and that the Jews should be all killed by the sword everywhere in the world until none are left
  • After asking a driver to move his van that was blocking his car in a Jewish neighbourhood in London, the driver responded, “I'm here cleaning up after you filthy Jewish pigs”
  • A university Jewish Society was sent an abusive message on Instagram, saying, “Wherever you are in the world, we will take you out of your homes and perform a dance of victory and happiness over your bodies”
  • On a work chat forum, a male wrote to his Jewish colleague, “free palestine…sh*t up stupid monkey” [sic]
  • A Jewish teacher at a non-Jewish school in Leeds had “Free Palestine” shouted at him by several students
  • A schoolboy was walking home in Manchester when a male shouted, “You f*cking little ginger y*d” from a passing vehicle
  • In a London pharmacy, a Jewish couple were abused by a male who said, “F*ck the Jews” to them

CST will not stand for this anti-Jewish hatred and nor should anybody else. We urge everyone who experiences or witnesses antisemitism to report it to police and to CST so that those who are trying to intimidate and threaten our community can be investigated, arrested and prosecuted.

To report an antisemitic incident to CST, please use our online form or for urgent or out-of-hours reports please call our 24-hour National Emergency Number 0800 032 3263.

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