Antisemitic incidents – 6 December update
6 December 2023
In the 61 days inclusive between the Hamas terror attack on Israel (Saturday 7 October) and Wednesday 6 December, CST recorded at least 1890 antisemitic incidents across the UK. This is the highest ever total reported to CST across a sixty-one-day period. CST has been recording antisemitic incidents since 1984.
In just over eight weeks, CST has recorded more antisemitic incidents than the total reported throughout the entire year prior to Hamas’ attack on Israel, between 1 January and 6 October 2023, and more than in any year apart from 2021, when escalation in the Middle East conflict triggered CST’s highest ever antisemitic incident annual total.
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 301 antisemitic incidents over the same 61 days in 2022. This means that we have seen an increase in anti-Jewish hate acts of 528% 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. Over the entire month of that conflict, from 8 May – 7 June, 691 instances of anti-Jewish hate were recorded. After 7 June, antisemitic incident levels in the UK returned to what CST would consider a “normal” level (which is still shamefully high, averaging over 100 incidents per month). At present, there is no sign that the volume of anti-Jewish hatred is subsiding to this “normal”.
Across the first 61 days of the conflict in July 2014, we recorded 546 antisemitic incidents. Bear in mind, when comparing these to the 1890 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 1890 incidents is only provisional and will almost certainly increase further.
In addition to the 1890 anti-Jewish hate incidents recorded so far, CST also logged at least 1213 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 1890 antisemitic incidents recorded over this sixty-one-day period fall into the following categories:
- 80 Assaults
- 117 Damage & Desecration to Jewish property
- 148 direct Threats
- 1537 Abusive Behaviour, including verbal abuse, graffiti on non-Jewish property, hate mail and online abuse
- 8 instances of mass-produced antisemitic Literature
CST has recorded 1062 antisemitic incidents in Greater London; 326 in Greater Manchester; 63 in Hertfordshire; 50 in West Yorkshire; 35 in Scotland; 30 in the West Midlands; 27 in Thames Valley; 26 in Sussex; 19 in Avon & Somerset; 16 in Nottinghamshire; and the remaining 236 incidents were spread across 34 different police regions around the UK.
Of the 1890 antisemitic incidents, 1301 occurred offline and 589 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.
One hundred and 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, and 56 in the whole of 2022. Meanwhile, 126 incidents were related to the school sector. Fifty-six of these affected students and teachers at non-Jewish schools; 44 involved Jewish schoolchildren abused on their way to or from school; 19 targeted Jewish schools; and seven 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, and 94 in the whole of 2022.
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, Hertfordshire and Leeds
- In Bristol, “Free Palestine” was shouted at visibly Jewish men walking to a sabbath lunch
- In Leeds, a Jewish university footballer was called a “Big nose Jew” by a member of the opposing team
- A sticker reading “BOYCOTT Israeli GOODS. Free Palestine” was placed on a synagogue gate in London
- In Cornwall, a man wearing a Star Of David and IDF t-shirt was called a “Jewish c*nt” by a man who then tried to punch him
- A Jewish couple walking to a sabbath lunch in London received shouts of “F*ck you Jews! F*ck the Jews! Free Palestine!”
- A Jewish man was driving in London when a man in a car next to him shouted, “F*cking Jew, f*cking Zionist!”
- “F*cking Jew, Heil Hitler!” was shouted at a visibly Jewish man in Manchester
- A Jewish school in Manchester was sent a letter saying, “warning your school is being targeted, No one is safe , no one should support killers, Palestine forever” [sic]
- “Kill Jews” was written on the toilet wall of a London school
- A sticker saying “ZIONISM IS NAZISM WITH A BLUE STAR” was seen at a Christmas market in Manchester
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.