May 29th, 2015 by Mark Gardner
A new report by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) usefully compares various surveys and data on antisemitism.
Ultimately, however, it also shows why much of this work is inadequate: due to its increasingly important purpose of informing the debate about whether or not European and British Jews have a normative future.
The report, Could it happen here? What existing data tell us about contemporary antisemitism in the UK, (see pdf) emphasises the need for better surveys, better data and a better appreciation of the limitations of existing data. It includes a sobering explanation of why surveying Muslim attitudes towards Jews is especially necessary.
JPR’s report is timely and welcome, especially for CST, where we are constantly asked the question “how bad is it?”. This question is very hard to objectively answer. How “bad” is “it” compared to what and when? Who defines “it”?
This is why CST’s answer to “how bad is it?” is generally limited to what our reported incident rates show, or what our community is telling us about its feelings, or what the current levels of anti-Jewish terrorist rhetoric and targeting appear to be.
JPR’s report now gives another reference point for “how bad is it?”, with scholarly cross-referencing of opinion surveys of Jews, of non-Jews, of levels of negativity and antisemitism, and of Jewish perceptions.
Overall, it seems English speaking nations, including Britain, have the lowest levels of negative opinion about Jews, at under 10%. France and Germany are next, at around 10%-25%. Spain, Poland and Russia sit between 25%-45%. Jordan and Egypt are almost 100%. Turkey was 50%, but is now over 70%, nearly level with Pakistan’s 70%-80%.
JPR show how sizeable Muslim minorities in Britain and France have very limited impact on national surveys about attitudes to Jews. The disparity in Britain is especially large, 47% negativity from Muslims, compared to 7% for the overall population. JPR ask what the polling in Arab and Muslim states suggests about the attitudes of Muslim minorities in European countries,
JPR assess CST’s antisemitic incident statistics as “a vital source of information... a critical contribution to understanding...one of the very few available sources...that have been monitored in a consistent fashion over many years”. The strikingly consistent impact of “trigger events” is shown. From 2004 to 2014, Israel’s wars keep showing a near trebling of “the number of antisemitic incidents taking place” (ie reported to CST). Similarly, the impact of annual Jewish High Holydays is also remarkably consistent, at a rise of one-third above the monthly average.
JPR rightly note, as CST has said, that strictly speaking the annual or monthly statistics only tell you what is reported. They do not show the actual rate of reporting, nor how it alters over time, therefore influencing the absolute totals. (This is why, whenever possible, CST speaks of “reported antisemitic incidents” having increased or decreased.)
Nevertheless, JPR do suggest that the overall level of antisemitic incidents is increasing over time, even when the obvious trigger event months (occasional Middle East wars and annual Rosh Hashanah / Yom Kippur) are removed: rising from an average 35 incidents per month in 2004, to 51 per month in 2014.
The report concludes with a sincere appeal for the highest possible levels of “professionalism, objectivity and expertise in survey-taking and data analysis, supported by long-term financial investment”. CST entirely agrees with this position and the final sentence summarises precisely why:
“The alternative is deeply problematic: further wastage of resources, continuing inflow of superfluous data, and persistent uncertainty as to ‘what this all means’, all at the expense of greater clarity and, we believe, greater safety for Jews”.
May 20th, 2015 by CST
For several weeks, CST has known of a proposed neo-Nazi demonstration in Golders Green, North London, planned for Saturday 4 July. CST has been discussing the matter with Police and Government, and yesterday joined with other Jewish groups in asking that the demonstration be banned. Should the demonstration proceed, CST will do its utmost to protect both those who choose to counter-demonstrate and those who choose to continue their normal Jewish lives. Read more…
May 1st, 2015 by Mark Gardner
An analysis of a deeply flawed article entitled Antisemitism Is Not Inevitable, published on leading UK Islamist website, MEMO. Read more…
April 22nd, 2015 by Mark Gardner
Two antisemitic far Right gatherings have occurred in London in successive weeks, showing the Jew-hating essence of both the fake intellectual and the street thug wings of the UK far Right. CST will continue opposing such events, working closely with our communities, Police and Government. Read more…
April 15th, 2015 by Dave Rich
CST’s work combating antisemitism is widely recognised as a model for others to follow and we are proud to help other communities combat bigotry, prejudice and hatred. We do this because we believe our shared experiences can help to bring communities together. The opposite approach is typified by MEND, a Muslim advocacy group whose activities risk increasing hostility and suspicion between communities. Read more…
April 2nd, 2015 by Mark Gardner
The cancellation on “health and safety” grounds of a planned anti-Israel conference at Southampton University hides a deeper problem with the conference: its organiser’s insistence that Zionism can only be understood by deep reference and understanding of Jews, Judaism, “Jewish being” and “Jewish pathology”. Read more…
March 25th, 2015 by CST
CST has signed an agreement with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to share antisemitic incident data with Police forces across the UK. Read more…