Second worst year for UK anti-Semitism

Prince Harry's donning of Nazi regalia contributed to the 455 recorded anti-Semitic incidents in the United Kingdom in 2005.

Prince Harry's donning of Nazi regalia and London Mayor Ken Livingstone's comparison of a Jewish journalist to a concentration-camp guard contributed to the 455 recorded anti-Semitic incidents in the United Kingdom in 2005, according to an annual report by the Community Security Trust. Although this represents a 14 percent decrease from the record-setting 532 incidents in 2004, it still is the second highest total since the CST began recording incidents in 1984. The Antisemitic Incidents Report attributes the decrease to the lack of "trigger events" from the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, though the number of incidents is still far higher than it was prior to the start of the terror war in 2000. The lowest number of recorded incidents was 219 in 1997. In one of two incidents of "extreme violence," in 2005, a Jewish student in Manchester was chased and then stabbed by a man who was shouting profane anti-Semitic remarks, the report said. In the second incident, a Jewish man in London was attacked by a gang of 15 children who smashed a bottle over his head, kicked and punched him to the ground, then attempted to set fire to him. Several pieces of hate mail sent to Jewish organizations were among the 21 total incidents which specifically referred to Harry's or Livingstone's episodes in 2005. An anti-Semitic incident, according to the CST, which advises and represents the UK Jewish community on matters of anti-Semitism, terrorism and security, is classified as "any malicious act aimed at the Jewish people, organizations or property." Furthermore, the incidents may include physical attacks, verbal and written abuse, threats, leaflets and posters. It is likely that the actual figures of incidents are higher than recorded because not all incidents are reported to the CST. More than 100 of the incidents in 2005 targeted synagogues' congregants and staff members walking to or from services, and nearly 40 incidents involved Jewish schools and schoolchildren. Other incidents included desecrations of Jewish cemeteries, attacks against Jewish students and academics, and 59 incidents targeting Jewish communal organizations and buildings. Fifty-two percent of the recorded perpetrators were white, though only 163 of the 455 recorded incidents included a physical description of the perpetrators.