The UK has experienced a significant increase in campus antisemitism over the last two years, a new Community Security Trust (CST) report has found.
The report, published on January 19, states that there have been 150 university-related antisemitic incidents reported to them in the last two academic years across 30 universities in the UK, marking a 22% increase.
The report looks at incidents experienced by both Jewish students and Jewish staff members.
From 2020-2021, there were 95 incidents of antisemitism reported to the organization. The report highlights that “Fifty-five of these incidents took place in a single month, May 2021, when there was a significant escalation of conflict in Israel and Gaza.”
The report states that in the aforementioned timeframe, there have been four physical assaults against students on campus. One incident included a Jewish student being beaten with a rubber bat while being verbally abused.
The report also noted that five antisemitic incidents include university lecturers engaging in antisemitism online.
The 150 incidents include death threats sent to Jewish students, verbal abuse and antisemitic graffiti. Only 47 of the incidents occurred on campus, the rest occurring online or at another location.
Encouragingly, the report adds that the majority of Jewish students are unlikely to experience antisemitism on campus.
What is the CST?
The CST is a registered charity that protects British Jews from antisemitism and related threats. The organization has offices in London, Leeds and Manchester and they work to provide security for Jewish events and train Jewish volunteers and organizations on security-related issues.
In response to CST’s new report, CST Chief Executive Mark Gardner said: “Antisemitism at our universities has been a running sore for decades and these new findings show that far too many Jewish students suffer hatred and bias.
"This study also reinforces last week’s National Union of Students’ own report into antisemitism, including the link between anti-Israel hatred and racist treatment of British Jews. Students’ Unions and university authorities need to better support their Jewish students, taking concerns seriously and acting against antisemitism, whether it comes from students or academics.”
Antisemitism at our universities has been a running sore for decades and these new findings show that far too many Jewish students suffer hatred and bias."CST Chief Executive Mark Gardner
The Union of Jewish Students President Joel Rosen said: “Jewish students living away from home for the first time have the right to be who they are and to feel safe where they live and study. These incidents have a detrimental impact on the community, leading some to hide their identity and disengage from parts of university life.
"Jewish students are resilient and won’t let themselves be defined by the prejudice of others. In spite of the odds, Jewish life on campus continues. Our answer to those who would uproot our thriving student communities is to ensure that they continue to grow and flourish.
The CST estimates that there are currently 9000 Jewish students at universities across the UK and 73 Jewish clubs on campuses.