Anti-Semitic Incidents in 2010

There were 31% fewer anti-Semitic incidents in the UK in 2010 than in 2009, according to the latest annual report from the Community Security Trust (CST). It runs to 36 pages and is available at:

The CST is a registered charity which provides physical security, training and advice for the protection of British Jews; represents Jewry to Government and police in respect of matters affecting security and anti-Semitism; and assists victims of anti-Semitism.

The decline in anti-Semitic incidents might have been anticipated. 2009 had been an exceptional year, largely on account of hostility to Israel’s substantial military operations in Gaza at the start of 2009, described by CST as a significant ‘trigger event’. 

Nevertheless, the 639 incidents recorded in 2010 was still the second-highest number since CST began collecting data in 1984 and a rise of 17% on the 2008 total.

This reflects a generally upward trend, which CST attributes in part to better reporting of incidents, although it considers that many instances of verbal abuse are not yet notified.

The 639 incidents were categorized as: abusive behaviour (60%), assaults (18%), damage and desecration of property (13%), threats (5%), and anti-Semitic literature (4%). No examples of extreme violence were recorded in 2010, of which there are a handful in most years.

Incidents were not evenly distributed throughout 2010. The largest monthly figure (82) was in September, believed to be linked to the presence of visibly Jewish people in public during the High Holy Day period.

81 incidents were logged in June, many of them related to negative reactions to the Israeli boarding on 31 May of a flotilla of ships trying to break the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza, as a result of which nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed.  

Not unexpectedly, the largest number of incidents was reported from areas of Jewish concentration, with 34% each in Greater London and Greater Manchester, although the Jewish population of the latter is just one-seventh of the former (21,700 against 149,800).

6% of incidents occurred in Hertfordshire (where 16,900 Jews live) and 26% elsewhere in the UK (with 78,300 Jewish residents).   

The victims of these incidents came from the whole spectrum of the Jewish community. The most frequent were: random Jewish individuals in public (48%), synagogues and their congregants (17%), Jewish organizations (12%), and private homes and schools/schoolchildren/teachers (9% each).

In cases where the demographics of victims could be identified, 65% were male, 27% female and 8% mixed groups. 66% of victims were adults, 25% minors and 9% a combination of both.

Physical descriptions of the incident perpetrator were received in some cases, of whom 47% were white, 6% East European, 7% black, 29% Asian, and 10% of Arab appearance. 83% of perpetrators were men, 12% women, and 5% of both sexes. 68% were adults and 31% minors.

In one-quarter of incidents the perpetrators employed discourse based upon the Nazi period, including swastikas and references to the Holocaust. Discourse related to Israel or the Middle East was used in 12% of incidents and Islamist discourse in 4%. Evidence of political motivation was found in 37% of instances and of premeditation in 65%.

In addition to the 639 anti-Semitic incidents, CST investigated 372 other cases which it eventually concluded were not anti-Semitic in terms of motivation, targeting or content. Two-fifths of these concerned potential information collection and suspicious behaviour at Jewish locations.

CST includes in its tally of incidents some which are not crimes. The CST statistics will therefore exceed the number of anti-Semitic hate crimes tabulated by the police, on which we have previously reported at:

A further measure of anti-Semitism is found in sample survey data. The BRIN source database contains descriptions of 72 such surveys undertaken between 1938 and 2010. Go to:

and key ‘anti-Semitism’ in the search box.

One of the most recent and extensive (as regards the number of questions) surveys was conducted in December 2008-January 2009 on behalf of the US-based Anti-Defamation League, with fieldwork in Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Spain, as well as Great Britain. The report on this study is at:

British Religion in Numbers: All the material published on this website is subject to copyright. We explain further here.

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