In the United Kingdom, Anti-Semitism Is on the Rise

According to an annual report issued by the Community Security Trust (CST), 2016 saw a record number of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain. Moreover, comprehensive analysis suggests that the latest statistics are not a one-time spike but reflect an increase that is here to stay:

The 1,309 anti-Semitic incidents recorded . . . in 2016 were spread uniformly throughout most of the year. The highest monthly total came in May, with 135 incidents; the second highest was in December, with 133 incidents recorded. Every month from May to December returned a . . . total above 100 incidents, an unprecedented run of consistently high monthly incident totals over an eight-month period. For comparison, in the decade prior to 2016, monthly totals above 100 incidents had only happened six times.

Previously, record-high annual incident totals had been dominated by anti-Semitic reactions in the UK to sudden and specific “trigger events.” For example, the two previous record-high annual totals came in 2014 and 2009, when conflicts in Israel and Gaza acted as sudden trigger events that caused steep, identifiable spikes in anti-Semitic incidents. In contrast, there was no single sudden trigger event in 2016 comparable to those of 2014 and 2009, nor was there a temporary, large spike in incidents that stands out from the rest of the year, causing and explaining the overall record high.

Rather than a single trigger event causing the 2016 record total, it appears that the high number of recorded anti-Semitic incidents may be due to the cumulative effect of a series of relatively lengthy events and factors that, taken together, created an atmosphere in which the number of incidents . . . has remained at a high level over a sustained period of time.

This pattern in fact precedes 2016, dating back to the last major trigger event, the conflict in Israel and Gaza in July and August 2014, when CST noted a then-record high number of anti-Semitic incidents. In the two-and-a-half years since then, from July 2014 to the end of 2016, CST has recorded an average of 105 anti-Semitic incidents per month, compared to an average of 50 incidents per month over the same period prior to July 2014 (i.e., from January 2012 to June 2014). Thus CST is currently recording, on average, more than double the number of anti-Semitic incidents per month than was the case four years ago.

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Read more at Community Security Trust

More about: Anti-Semitism, British Jewry, Jewish World, United Kingdom


Palestinian Acceptance of Israel as the Jewish State Must Be a Prerequisite to Further Negotiations

Oct. 19 2018

In 1993, in the early days of the Oslo peace process, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) under Yasir Arafat accepted the “right of the state of Israel to exist in peace and security.” But neither it nor its heir, the Palestinians Authority, has ever accepted Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, or the right of the Jewish people to self-determination. Robert Barnidge explains why this distinction matters:

A Jewish state for the Jewish people, after all, was exactly what the [UN] General Assembly intended in November 1947 when it called for the partition of the Palestine Mandate into “the Arab state, the Jewish state, and the city of Jerusalem.”

Although the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state does not stand or fall on this resolution—in declaring the independence of Israel on the eve of the Sabbath on May 14, 1948, the Jewish People’s Council, [the precursor to the Israeli government], also stressed the Jewish people’s natural and historic rights—it reaffirms the legitimacy of Jewish national rights in (what was to become) the state of Israel.

The Palestinians have steadfastly refused to recognize Jewish self-determination. [Instead], the PLO [has been] playing a double game. . . . It is not simply that the PLO supported the General Assembly’s determination in 1975, rescinded in 1991, that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” It is that that the PLO leadership continues to speak of Jews as a religious community rather than a people, and of Zionism as a colonial usurper rather than the national liberation movement that it is.

The U.S. government, Barnidge concludes, “should demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel’s right to exist in peace and security as a Jewish state” and refuse to “press Israel to negotiate with the Palestinians unless and until that happens.”

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More about: Israel & Zionism, Peace Process, PLO, US-Israel relations, Yasir Arafat