Is Antisemitism On the Rise?

September 8, 2014

Following the recent conflict between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza, there have been reports from a number of countries of attacks targeting Jews. But does the evidence support claims that antisemitism is on the rise?

In France and Germany, synagogues and Jewish community centers have been firebombed. In Britain, a rabbi was attacked near a Jewish boarding school. And in Australia, a bus carrying Jewish schoolchildren was targeted by teenagers shouting “Heil Hitler” and threatening to slit the children’s throats.

As a result, newspapers have reported a “rising tide of antisemitism in Britain”, that Europe is facing the “worst times since the Nazis” and that we’re witnessing a “dramatic rise in global antisemitism”. But while antisemitism is clearly a problem, is it correct to say that it is increasing?

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In Britain, the Jewish organization the Community Security Trust (CST) monitors anti-Semitic incidents. These include violent attacks on people or property, threats, anti-Semitic graffiti and online expressions of antisemitism.

The CST says it received around 240 reports of anti-Semitic incidents in July, which it describes as five times the monthly average. The UK Association of Chief Police Officers, which has released statistics on hate crime since 2009, has talked of a “significant rise” in antisemitism since the latest fighting began in Gaza in early July.

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