It feels like a long time since antisemitism was ‘normal’.
Last year the conflict in Israel and Gaza in May was the excuse for people around the country to attack, abuse and threaten British Jews.
We saw a record number of anti-Jewish hate incidents reported to CST as a result.
The past two years were also the years of the pandemic, when antisemitism shifted from the streets to our screens, with ‘Zoombombing’ of Jewish community events the new method for antisemites to target us for hate; and before that we had to endure years of antisemitism stirred up in the Labour Party.
CST’s recent report, Covid, Conspiracies & Jew-Hate: antisemitism in the Covid-19 conspiracy movement, revealed the extent to which the pandemic affected antisemitism in this country, as antisemitic conspiracy theories became more prevalent and Jews were blamed for this deadly virus.
Now, in the first six months of 2022, we can see what antisemitism looks like without any of these external influences affecting things.
The overall total has dropped from the record high of 2021: it had to, because the alternative was unthinkable.
Instead, antisemitic incidents have shifted back to what was considered ‘normal’ before the pandemic: more likely to be offline, on the streets, in your face.
More likely to be violent (although thankfully, still a minority of cases).
Increasingly likely to involve children, which is troubling.
Of course, we should never accept anti-Jewish hate as normal, and we know from bitter experience that the factors that caused it to rise in previous years can always return.
Now is the time to try to suppress any future rise, by targeting those spreading hate and educating wider society in how to resist it.
Dr. Dave Rich is Director of Policy at the Community Security Trust
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.