New Report: Attacks on UK Jewish Students, Faculty Doubled in 2016
Attacks on Jewish university students and faculty in the UK nearly doubled in 2016, according to a report released on Thursday.
According to the Community Security Trust (CST) report, last year there were 41 antisemitic incidents, compared with 21 recorded in 2015, with about half of them occurring on campuses. Two of the incidents were assaults, one was a case of property damage and the overwhelming majority were categorized as “abusive behavior.” Most of the off-campus incidents took place on social media.
One example cited in the report was the case of a Jewish student “having a political discussion” with a Turkish peer on their London university campus, when the latter said she was “not surprised that Jews were killed in the Holocaust, as Jews are troublesome people.”
The report also referred to the targeting of Jewish children, with 30 incidents of harassment or abuse occurring while they were on their commute to or from school. Another 37 occurred on the premises of “Jewish faith schools.” Fourteen of the 83 total school-related incidents were categorized as assault.
In Manchester, an epicenter of British Jewry, the report noted, “Two Asian youths walked past a Jewish school, approached a visibly Jewish boy and poured curry over him.” In London, six kids, wearing the uniform of their Jewish school, were kicked and verbally abused by two older girls, one of whom, according to the report, “appeared to be wearing a Muslim headscarf.”
The CST reported that a total of 1,309 antisemitic incidents occurred last year, constituting a 36% increase from 2015 and the highest-ever figure recorded.
Jonathan Arkush, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, called the report “deeply worrying.”
“It is clear that combating antisemitism will take a concerted effort by the country’s political leadership, government and civil society. In these uncertain times, we should strive to make the UK a beacon of a society that abhors racism and champions respect between all its citizens,” Arkush said in a statement.