News and Commentary

Corbyn Effect: Anti-Semitism In U.K. Reaches Record High

On Wednesday, the United Kingdom’s Community Security Trust (CST) released its survey on nationwide anti-Semitic incidents for the year 2018. As The Jerusalem Post reports, this was the third consecutive year in which anti-Semitic incidents in Britain set a new annual record.

According to the CST – a Jewish community organization that works in cooperation with the U.K. police – there were 1,652 reported incidents of anti-Semitism, a 16% rise from the 1,420 anti-Semitic incidents recorded by CST in 2017, which was itself a record annual total, as was the total of 1,375 incidents for 2016.

President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews Marie van der Zyl described the figures as “very worrying for Jews living in the U.K.”

According to the Post, the CST noted that while previous years’ high levels of anti-Semitic incidents often dovetailed with heightened military hostilities between Israel and Hamas, the Sunni supremacist terrorist group that governs the Israel-adjacent Gaza Strip, the last three years of annually record-breaking anti-Semitic incidents in Britain have not coincided with any full-scale Israel-Gaza wars. As such, “there was therefore no single cause in these record highs of anti-Jewish sentiment.”

But as CNN notes, such metastasizing anti-Semitism likely has at least one prominent cause: The ever-worsening institutional anti-Semitism of U.K.’s Left-wing Labour Party.

The highest number of recorded incidents was in May, followed by April, August and September, CST said. “It is likely that these higher monthly totals were partly caused by reactions to political events in the U.K. and overseas, involving the Labour Party and violence on the border of Israel and Gaza, during those months.”

In total, the CST found a whopping 173 anti-Semitic incidents in 2018 that were motivated by anti-Israel sentiment; by contrast, the year 2017 featured only 70 such incidents.

The Times of Israel notes that the CST survey shows an increasing comfort level among Jew-haters to publicly express — and act upon — their vile beliefs.

According to the CST, the consistently high figures indicate that people who hold anti-Semitic opinions feel more comfortable expressing those views, causing the increased levels of anti-Semitism to now be the standard rather than the exception. In addition, the CST report said, victims or witnesses may be more motivated to report about anti-Semitism they encounter.

Britain’s popular The Sun tabloid was less restrained in placing the blame squarely on Labour and its infamously anti-Semitic chieftain, Jeremy Corbyn, opining in its lede that “Labour’s anti-Semitism scandal led to a record number of incidents being reported last year, fresh figures have shown.” The Sun cites for support this tidbit from the CST survey: “[T]he months with the highest totals appear to correlate to periods when political and media debate over allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party were at their most intense and most public.”

The CST survey comes on the heels of the Joint Distribution Committee’s International Center for Community Development recent survey of 893 European Jewish leaders, which The Daily Wire has previously reported upon. The survey found that anti-Semitism in Western Europe is presently worse than it is in Eastern Europe. As Evelyn Gordon noted at Commentary, the Joint Distribution Committee’s survey found that “[r]espondents from places like Poland, Hungary, and Romania — countries routinely accused of having anti-Semitic, borderline fascist governments — felt safer than Jews in liberal countries like France and Germany by a 20-point margin.”