Evidence of antisemitic views within the Labour Party have barely left the headlines in recent weeks, with leader Jeremy Corbyn being forced to apologise numerous times for what he calls the "pockets of antisemitism" within his party. Just this week, leaked papers revealed the shocking extent of the problem and the lengths the party needs to go to overcome it, while Jewish groups have dismissed Corbyn's stance on the issue as weak and insincere.
But such bigoted attitudes aren't just a blight on the political left or in politics as a whole. While the battle against antisemitic attitudes is ongoing, reports of antisemitic abuse in the UK have increased drastically in recent years. The Community Security Trust (CST), a charity that works with Jewish community organisations and police forces, recorded 1,382 such incidents last year – the highest total ever – which included 145 incidents classed as "assaults," up from 108 in 2016. Verbal abuse in the street is common place, the charity says, while almost one in five incidents in 2017 involved social media.
“Hatred is rising and Jewish people are suffering as a result," said the charity's chief executive, David Delew. "This should concern everybody because it shows anger and division that threaten all of society. We have the support of government and police, but prosecutions need to be more visible and more frequent; while too many others act in ways that encourage antisemites and isolate Jews.”