(photo credit: PAUL HACKETT/REUTERS)
In interviews with thousands of British Jews, almost a third of them said they have considered leaving the United Kingdom over the past two years due to antisemitism.
The findings are part of a report published Sunday by the Campaign Against Antisemitism watchdog group, which conducted since 2015 interviews with more than 10,000 British Jews together with the YouGov market research company.
In interviews conducted in 2016 and 2017 with a combined sample population of 7,156 respondents, 37 percent of them said they have been concealing in public signs that would indicate that they are Jewish.
Only 59 percent of the respondents since 2015 said they feel welcome in the United Kingdom and 17 percent said they feel unwelcome.
Only 39 percent of respondents from 2015 onward said they trust justice authorities to prosecute perpetrators of antisemitic hate crimes.
Three-quarters of the people interviewed said they feel that recent political events have resulted in increased hostility towards Jews. Since 2015, 80 percent of respondents said they believe that the Labour Party is harboring antisemites in its ranks.
In 2015, Jeremy Corbyn, a far-left politician who in 2009 called Hezbollah and Hamas his “friends,” was elected to lead Labour. Corbyn said last year that he regrets calling the terrorists his friends but Jewish groups in the United Kingdom and beyond have accused him of whitewashing antisemitism and allowing it to grow among the many thousands of supporters who joined Labour in support of his policies.
Corbyn has denied this claim, vowing to punish anyone who is found initiating or participating in hate speech. Dozens of members were expelled from Labour under Corbyn as part of this policy. However, several Labour members who were accused of antisemitic hate speech were readmitted or let off with suspensions or reprimands, including former London Mayor Ken Livingstone who repeatedly said last year that Adolf Hitler was a Zionist.
On August 15, Campaign Against Antisemitism protested the selection of Luke Cresswell, a local politician who wrote online that “Moses must be proud” of supposed “genocide” by Israel, as a Labour candidate.
The survey’s respondents said they considered Islamist antisemitism “to be the threat that concerned them the most, and that rapidly rising hate crime targeting Jews was not being tackled by the authorities,” Campaign Against Antisemitism wrote.
The Jewish community of the United Kingdom recorded 767 antisemitic attacks in the first half of 2017 — the highest figure recorded within six months since monitoring began in 1984. In February, the Community Security Trust watchdog reported a record 1,309 incidents in 2016, constituting a 36 percent increase over the 2015 tally.
Among the people who told Campaign Against Antisemitism that they were considering leaving Britain was a daughter of the late mayor of Birmingham, Harold Blumenthal. The daughter, Mandy, “is now making preparations to leave Britain due to mounting antisemitism in politics and antisemitic crime, and the failure to tackle it,” the Campaign Against Antisemitism report said in a statement about their report.
Campaign Against Antisemitism called on the government to urgently implement the group’s own past recommendations, including specific training and guidance on antisemitic hate crime for officers and prosecutors.
The 2016 National Antisemitic Crime Audit registered a total of 1,078 antisemitic crimes, including 105 that were violent. Only one of the violent crimes was prosecuted, according to the audit. In total, only 15 cases were prosecuted, leading to the conviction of 17 suspects.
Political parties were encouraged by Campaign Against Antisemitism in its report to adopt the government’s definition of antisemitism, which cites vitriolic hate speech against Israel as an expression of antisemitism
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