De­press­ingstats

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT -

An­other year, an­other de­press­ing set of sta­tis­tics from the Com­mu­nity Se­cu­rity Trust. Only these lat­est fig­ures, cov­er­ing 2016 are of a dif­fer­ent or­der of mag­ni­tude from any that have come be­fore. Not just the high­est ever in ab­so­lute terms — 1309 recog­nised in­ci­dents of Jew ha­tred in the year — but the high­est ever yearly in­crease, up 36 per cent on 2015. Vi­o­lent as­saults are up by 29 per cent. And, per­haps most wor­ry­ing of all, there is no one ob­vi­ous fac­tor that helps ex­plain a rise. It seems that Jew hate is sim­ply be­com­ing more preva­lent and more open. This will come as no sur­prise to any­one who looks at Twit­ter, which is of­ten a cess pit of an­ti­semitic abuse. So­cial me­dia ap­pears to be re­veal­ing thoughts which pre­vi­ously lay buried. An ob­vi­ous ques­tion is whether so­cial me­dia en­cour­ages an­ti­semitism or re­veals it. The most likely an­swer is a bit of both, but it seems un­likely that those who take to so­cial me­dia to abuse Jews were some­how free of such thoughts un­til Twit­ter came along. But what­ever other ex­pla­na­tions lie be­hind the rise, it is cer­tainly not helped when world lead­ers en­gage in a form of Holo­caust de­nial by is­su­ing state­ments for Holo­caust Me­mo­rial Day that de­lib­er­ately omit all men­tion of Jews. Be clear: this is the mod­ern form of de­nial that seeks to de­nude it of its real mean­ing by re­mov­ing its pur­pose as the geno­cide of the Jewish peo­ple. It would be wrong to ex­ag­ger­ate the threat we face as a com­mu­nity. We have — and have long had — a gov­ern­ment that places our se­cu­rity as a high pri­or­ity, and live in a coun­try which is tol­er­ant and in­stinc­tively pro­tec­tive of mi­nori­ties. But it would also be wil­fully blind to ig­nore the wor­ry­ing trends that are now be­com­ing in­creas­ingly and dan­ger­ously preva­lent.

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