Latest Figures Show Rise In Social Media Anti-Semitism
A huge increase in recorded anti-Semitism on social media contributed to a five percent rise in overall incidents last year compared to 2011, a new report has revealed.
Figures published today by the Community Security Trust show there were 640 incidents targeting community members and property during the 12 months to December - the third highest total in more than two decades - including a rise during the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
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Without those figures being included, the CST said, there would have been an 11 percent overall decrease. "These figures require careful analysis," said director of communications Mark Gardner. "Discounting incidents from the new exchange system, the overall UK like-for-like level may actually have fallen slightly. Overall, we are very pleased with the information sharing with police and the figures should now be even more accurate than in previous years."
In Greater Manchester, where the CST and police have run an incident exchange programme since 2011, the report shows a 34 percent drop. Last year saw a 27 percent fall in the number of violent anti-Semitic attacks from 95, with two of these involving grievous bodily harm or a threat to life.
Among the 69 assaults in 2012 was an attack on a customer in a London bakery who was left needing hospital treatment after being punched last July. A man was allegedly heard to say: 'F****** Jews... I f****** hate the Jews.' The same month, in Hertfordshire, a rabbi was on his way home from synagogue when a car slowed down and the driver threw a penny at him, shouting 'There you go'.
Incidents of damage and desecration also fell to the lowest levels since 2005. However, 2012 saw a 13 percent rise in abusive behaviour (467), including graffiti and verbal abuse as well as more threats to people and property (39) and in offending literature, including mass mailings and individual hate mail (12).
The huge increase in incidents involving the use of internet based social media - 80 compared to 12 in 2011 - "reflects the growing relevance of social media as a place where Jews encounter anti-Semitism and the ease with which it can be reported, rather than being an absolute measure of anti-Semitism on social media platforms," the report says.
Reacting to the report, a government spokesperson said: "Anti-Semitism is unacceptable and has no place in a civilised society. Hate crime, including religious hate crime, has devastating consequences for victims and their families, and also divides communities. We should all work together to confront this despicable behaviour.
"The government continues to deliver its action plan, which aims to protect victims and take firm action against those who commit hate crimes."
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