1 Aug 2014

Is anti-Semitism on the rise in Britain?

As a crop of Hitler-related hashtags emerge on social media over the past month, Simon Israel asks whether there is a rise in anti-Semitism in Britain.

On first impressions there is a shocking headline figure on UK anti-Semitism. This month of July has seen the second highest reported number of incidents in 30 years – four a day, a total of 130.

The Jewish organisation, the Community Security Trust, which has been collating such figures since 1984, believes the rise is linked to the Gaza conflict.

While violence is down, the figure includes many incidents of anti-Semitic threats and abuse on social media.

According to CST spokesman Mark Gardner, approximately 25 per cent of the over 130 antisemitic incidents reported to CST this month derive from social media. Mr Garner added: “There is nothing trivial about such racism, because it circulates amongst both victims and perpetrators, leaving a permanent visual impact of extreme hatred that both incites further abuse and spreads more upset.

“The levels of antisemitic hatred out there are being laid bare for all to see and must be unequivocally condemned.”

The rise of anti-Semitic hashtags in July 2014

#IsraHell: Monthly trend increases by +24.2, dramatically rising four weeks ago and popularity soaring to 39.3

#HitlerWasRight: Monthly trend increases by +36.5 with popularity steadily rising to 32.2

#IfHitlerWasAlive: Monthly trend increases by +27.2 with popularity reaching 27.9

#HitlerDidNothingWrong: Monthly trend increases by +26.8 with current popularity at 25.0

#killjews: Monthly trend increases by +14.9 with popularity at 14.5

#Hitler2014: Remains at 4.8 this month with popularity at 6.9

Source: Hashtagify.me: Hashtagify searches among 34,566,633 Twitter hashtags, and collects information on usage patterns examining 2,573,605,439 tweets (from the one per cent sample that Twitter distributes for free).

    It’s this area which community leaders are becoming increasingly concerned and much more difficult to police.

    CST figures for the first six months of this year of January – June also show a rise of 36 per cent to 304, while 223 in the same period last year but without any clear reason for the increase.

    Additional reporting by Suswati Basu


    ,, ,