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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