One in three Jews considers leaving Britain because of rising antisemitism

Toa Heftiba/Unsplash

One in three British Jews has considered leaving the UK due to surging antisemitism, according to a report today from the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA).

Surveys of more than 3,000 British Jews  for the campaign's Antisemitism Barometer by YouGov and the campaign found nearly a third of British Jews have considered leaving the UK in the past two years.

Just six in ten, or 59 per cent, of British Jews feel welcome in the UK, and 17 per cent feel unwelcome. For the past two years, 37 per cent of British Jews have been concealing their Judaism in public.

Examples of those preparing to quit Britain include include Mandy, a Jewish businesswoman whose father was the Lord Mayor of Birmingham and a Major in the army, and whose mother was a magistrate. Mandy is now making preparations to leave Britain due to mounting antisemitism in politics and antisemitic crime, and the failure to tackle it. Another is Michelle, a mother who has moved her family to Israel due to growing antisemitism in Britain, which made her fear for her children's future. 

Last month, CAA published police figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act showing that there has been a 45 per cent surge in antisemitic crime since 2014. Additionally CAA revealed that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has yet to prosecute more than two dozen antisemitic crimes per year.

More than half of British Jews said that the CPS is not doing enough to fight antisemitism, and only 39 per cent of British Jews felt confident that antisemitic hate crime would be prosecuted.

Alessio Maffeis/UnsplashMemorial to the 6 million murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, Germany

Nearly eight in ten British Jews feel that recent political events have resulted in increased hostility towards Jews, and for two years, more than four-fifths of British Jews have considered the Labour Party to be harbouring antisemites in its ranks.

The failure of the criminal justice system and political parties to tackle antisemitism is in stark contrast with the attitudes of the British public towards Jews.

YouGov's polling for CAA found that antisemitism, measured by how many respondents agreed with seven antisemitic statements, has been in decline for the past three years. In 2015, 45 per cent of British people held at least one antisemitic view, but that fell to 40 per cent in 2016 and then dropped again to 36 per cent in 2017.

In the report, CAA calls on the Government to urgently implement the recommendations of our last two National Antisemitic Crime Audits, and for all political parties to adopt our manifesto for fighting antisemitism.

'Our recommendations for the criminal justice system include basic measures such as producing specific training and guidance on antisemitic hate crime for officers and prosecutors, instructing Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary to review all police forces' responses to antisemitic crime, appointing a senior officer in each force with responsibility for overseeing the response to antisemitic hate crime, and requiring the Crown Prosecution Service to record and regularly publish details of cases involving antisemitism and their outcomes, as police forces are already required to do.

'Our recommendations for political parties are to adopt the Government's definition of antisemitism, as many have, and to enforce it using transparent and robust disciplinary processes, with expulsion from the party in the worst cases,' the campaign said.

Gideon Falter of the CAA said: 'We now have data that show that in a very British way, fairly and quietly, Britons have been rejecting antisemitic prejudice. British society has shunned a growing worldwide addiction to antisemitism and proved that so-called British values are no mere buzzphrase, but are embedded in our national being.

'However, our research shows that one in three British Jews has become so fearful of mounting antisemitic crime and the failure to excise antisemites from politics that they have considered leaving Britain altogether. Our research clearly shows that British Jews have pointed their fingers at the Crown Prosecution Service and the Labour Party.

'If British society can fight antisemitism, why are our world-renowned criminal justice system and some of our famous political parties still doing too little? There is not a moment to lose. Without urgent change, British Jews may start to leave, as has happened elsewhere in Europe.'

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