Antisemitic incidents rise sharply as 'worrying trend' continues

Antisemitic incidents rose by 11 per cent in the first six months of the year in a "worrying trend" developing in the UK.

The Community Security Trust (CST), which monitors the safety of the Jewish community, compiled data on hate incidents targeted at Jews and said there had been 577 cases from January to June 2016, up from 473 in the same period last year.

The Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, told MPs he was "deeply concerned" about the rise of antisemitismReuters

The charity said there was "no obvious single cause" for the rise.

However it said the from April to June there was "sustained public debate about antisemitism, particularly in relation to the Labour Party, and about racism and extremism more generally".

An inquiry into antisemitism was launched by the Labour party after the suspension of Naz Shah MP and former mayor of London Ken Livingston. It found the party was not overrun by antisemitism but admitted an "occasionally toxic atmosphere".

The CST report found that a quarter of recorded instances involved social media, which had become an "essential tool" for those who wanted to harass, abuse or threaten Jews. A total of 431 incidents related to abuse, which included verbal abuse, antisemitic graffiti, abuse online and hate mail.

More than three-quarters of incidents were recorded in Greater London and Greater Manchester, both cities with large Jewish populations. But the 62 incidents that happened in Manchester represented a 54 per cent fall compared to last year.

The charity's chief executive, David Delew, said: "This rise in reported antisemitism comes at a time when division, intolerance and prejudice appear to be deepening within our society.

"Reversing this worrying trend requires real leadership from all political parties, and for the social media companies to take their share of the responsibility."

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "I condemn the deplorable rise in antsemitic hate incidents in the first half of this year and will continue to work with law enforcement partners and with the Jewish community to ensure their safety and security."

Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham said: "There are worrying increases in incidents of antisemitic behaviour as many forms of hate crime rise across the country too."

Labour MP John Mann, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group against antisemitism, said: "This is a worrying rise in incidents set against a backdrop of increasing hate crime across the country."