CST Blog

Antisemitic incidents – 23 October update

23 October 2023

In the 17 days inclusive between the Hamas terror attack on Israel (Saturday 7 October) and Monday 23 October, CST recorded at least 600 antisemitic incidents across the UK. This is the highest ever total reported to CST across a seventeen-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 81 antisemitic incidents over the same 17 days in 2022. This means that we have seen an increase in anti-Jewish hate acts of 641% 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 17 days of that escalation in violence, 521 antisemitic incidents were reported to CST. Across the first 17 days of the conflict in July 2014, we recorded 152. Bear in mind, when comparing these to the 600 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 600 incidents is only provisional and will almost certainly increase further.

In addition to the 600 anti-Jewish hate incidents recorded so far, CST also logged at least 358 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. Many of these potential incidents involve suspicious activity or possible hostile reconnaissance at Jewish locations, and they play an important role in informing CST’s provision of protection to the Jewish community.

The 600 antisemitic incidents recorded over this twelve-day period fall into the following categories:

  • 24 Assaults
  • 35 Damage & Desecration to Jewish property
  • 64 direct Threats
  • 475 Abusive Behaviour, including verbal abuse, graffiti on non-Jewish property, hate mail and online abuse
  • 2 instances of mass-produced antisemitic Literature

CST has recorded 331 antisemitic incidents in Greater London; 99 in Greater Manchester; 25 in West Yorkshire; 14 in Hertfordshire; 13 in the West Midlands; 10 in Merseyside; 10 in Scotland; nine in Nottinghamshire; nine in Thames Valley; and the remaining 80 incidents were spread across 22 different police regions around the UK.

Four hundred and fifteen of the 600 antisemitic incidents occurred offline and 185 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-nine antisemitic incidents were related to universities across the UK. In the first six months of 2023, CST recorded just 17 incidents of this kind, and 56 in the whole of 2022. Meanwhile, 38 incidents were related to the school sector. Nineteen of these affected students and teachers at non-Jewish schools; 13 involved Jewish schoolchildren abused on their way to or from school; three targeted Jewish schools; and three involved offenders from non-Jewish schools abusing adult members of the public or Jewish locations. 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 have been removed or defaced in London, Manchester and Leeds
  • A message was sent to a Jewish man in London, saying, “Do you love death, you cowards? Free Palestine”
  • A man drove past a synagogue in Leeds and shouted, “Allahu Akbar”
  • In Manchester, a man shouted “dirty f*cking Jew” at the victim
  • In a WhatsApp group chat involving children from different schools, the victims was told to “Go back to the chambers u f*cking big nosed vegan b*tch” [sic]
  • Underneath a Jewish woman’s Facebook post, someboday replied, “YOUR FATHER CHILD KILLER SATANYAHU SHOULD COMMIT SUICIDE. Better still Sh*tler should come back and finish the job. Now crawl back under your rock you zionazi [rat emoji]“ [sic]
  • In Manchester, a furniture delivery man asked the homeowner, a visibly Jewish woman, if she was Jewish. When she said, “No, I'm from Tunis”, he replied, “yeah, I can see you're not, your home doesn't stink like a Jewish home.”
  • “Israel = [depiction of a swastika]” was seen daubed on a wall in Thames Valley
  • Shouts of “Free Palestine” and “f*ck Israel” were a=made to a visibly Jewish man exiting his car in Manchester
  • In a London office, a colleague said to the reporter, “I thought there were good Jews and Zionist Jews”

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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