Sevenfold increase in antisemitic incidents recorded in UK since Hamas attack

Antisemitic incidents in the UK have increased by almost 600% since Hamas’ attack on Israel, according to a Jewish security group.

The Community Security Trust (CST), which represents British Jews on issues of racism and policing, said it had recorded 320 antisemitic incidents between October 7 and 16, a sevenfold increase on the 47 antisemitic incidents recorded over the same period last year.

CST said 15 of the 320 incidents recorded were assaults, 14 referred to damage to Jewish property and 244 were related to abusive behaviour, with 86 taking place online.

Examples of antisemitic incidents included in the 581% rise included a threat made over the phone to a kosher shop in Liverpool, saying “we are coming to get you”.

“Free Palestine, kill Jews” was shouted at the heart of a Jewish community in London.

Two Jewish schools in north London were vandalised with red paint in what has been called “a disgraceful attempt to intimidate and harass” the community by Dave Rich, director of policy at CST.

Shomrim Stamford Hill said one school was targeted on Thursday and a second on Monday morning, as it tweeted CCTV footage of a masked figure spraying the paint on the outside of the buildings.

In a blog post on Monday, CST said: “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 10 days of that escalation in violence, 298 antisemitic incidents were reported to CST. Across the first 10 days of the conflict in July 2014, we recorded 82.

“Bear in mind, when comparing these to the 320 anti-Jewish hate incidents recorded since Saturday October 7, that the figures for 2021 and 2014 are final totals including all late-reported incidents, whereas the current total of 320 incidents is only provisional and will almost certainly increase further.”

The Jewish security group added: “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.”