Antisemitic incidents at UK universities reach all-time high, new data reveals

November 17, 2021 by JNS
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Antisemitic incidents hit an unprecedented high at universities in the United Kingdom during the previous academic year, according to recently released data collected by the Community Security Trust (CST).

A rally against antisemitism in London in December 2019. Credit: Brian Minkoff/Shutterstock.

A total of 111 antisemitic cases were recorded at British universities, which is a 59 percent rise from the 70 cases recorded during the 2019-20 school year. The jump represents a record high for CST since it began tracking antisemitic incidents on university campuses in 2002.

The University of Bristol and the University of Warwick were the two schools that had the most reported incidents, with 11 cases each, followed by the University College London and the University of Birmingham at 10 and eight cases, respectively.

Almost all cases involved verbal, written or online abuse, according to The Jewish Chronicle .A total of 64 cases were reported in May. All incidents at the University of Oxford took place during Israel’s 11-day conflict in May with Hamas and other factions in the Gaza Strip.

“The fact that this record total coincided with the recent conflict in Israel and Gaza shows yet again that wherever extreme anti-Israel hate is found, anti-Jewish hatred surely follows,” said a CST spokesperson.

The charity urged universities to make sure their “complaints processes are fit for purpose and that Jewish students get the necessary support when they suffer antisemitism.”

The Union of Jewish Students, which was reportedly targeted in eight of the incidents, said it is “incredibly worrying to see how positive and active Jewish student life is being tainted by the growth of anti-Jewish hatred across campuses in the U.K.”

A spokesperson added that “it is vital that institutions, student unions and the wider community are active in calling out anti-Jewish racism and take concrete steps to safeguard their Jewish students—for example, adopting and using the [International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance] IHRA definition of antisemitism.”


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