CST Blog

Antisemitic Discourse Report 2022

22 December 2023

Today, CST releases its Antisemitic Discourse Report 2022, a review of antisemitism in mainstream media and politics last year.

The report looks back at events in 2022 and does not include the recent rise in antisemitism in the UK since 7th October, which will be covered in next year’s report.

The report shows that antisemitism continued to play a role in the national discourse in Britain during 2022. 

There was extensive coverage in 2022 around antisemitism on university campuses and within the National Union of Students (NUS). The Education Secretary led an online summit to address the rise in antisemitism across UK universities and then Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that he was establishing a taskforce “devoted to rooting out antisemitism in education at all levels”.

Serious concerns were raised about systemic antisemitism within the NUS. The government temporarily disengaged from NUS and an independent investigation was established. It followed the election of Shaima Dallali as NUS President, despite reports of antisemitic and problematic social media posts. Dallali was suspended and her contract was terminated.

Allegations of antisemitism continued to be directed at the BBC. The appearance on a BBC discussion programme of controversial journalist Abdel Bari Atwan led to a letter of complaint to the Director-General. An online petition to launch a parliamentary inquiry into the BBC’s coverage of Jews and Israel led to the announcement of a cross-party inquiry.

The Conservative and Labour Parties both took strong action against members and candidates accused of antisemitic comments or social media posts. The continued existence of these complaints indicates that antisemitism retains a purchase in parts of mainstream politics, even while party leaderships are firmly committed to combating it. 

Lord Mann, the government’s Independent Advisor on Antisemitism, published a report on tackling antisemitism in the UK. The report was a reaction to the record number of antisemitic incidents reported in 2021 and 2022, the changed political landscape since 2015 and the growth of alternative social media platforms. 

A report on ‘Antisemitism in Schools’ was published by the Henry Jackson Society, which highlighted a 173.3 per cent rise in antisemitic incidents in schools over the last five years.

An internal report produced by the Royal Court Theatre showed that it had inadequate measures in places to prevent the antisemitism controversy over its production of the play Rare Earth Mettle. As part of its attempt to make amends, the Royal Court commissioned a new production called, “Jews. In Their Own Words.” After the premier, the theatre received online abuse. 

Ofcom issued strong rulings against two TV stations, Islam Channel and Ahlebait TV, for broadcasting antisemitic content in their TV programmes. 

Christian and Jewish representatives attended a service at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the Synod of Oxford, which introduced a number of antisemitic measures in England.

Download the full Antisemitic Discourse Report 2022.

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