Report shows rise in online antisemitism
AN UPSURGE in online racial hatred — particularly in English-speaking countries — has been revealed by a new report into antisemitism worldwide.
The study, by the Kantor Centre for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, showed the UK saw an increase in online antisemitism of 11 per cent during 2016.
It concluded: “The discourse on the internet has become more and more threatening, cruel and violent.”
The Kantor Centre, based at Tel Aviv University, releases a report on antisemitism every year.
Dr Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, and founder of the centre, said that while there had been a substantial decrease in violent attacks against Jews, there had been increases in abuse on social media, and on university campuses.
Dr Kantor said: “The enemies of the Jewish people have found new avenues to express their antisemitism — with significant increase of hate online and against less protected targets like cemeteries.”
“This means that in fact, the motivation has not declined and the sense of security felt by many Jewish communities remains precarious.”
The UK section of the report detailed 557 antisemitic incidents across the UK in the first six months of 2016, an 11 per cent increase on the first half of 2015.
This was the second highest total ever recorded for the January to June period, and included 43 violent incidents.
Mike Whine, of the Community Security Trust, who wrote the UK section, noted that the increase was most pronounced during April, May and June, during a period when antisemitism was prominently discussed in the media.
Mr Whine said: “Social media has become a primary means to abuse or harass Jews and Jewish public figures and 133 incidents were recorded on social media, comprising 24 per cent of the total number of incidents.
Mr Whine also recorded a number of successful prosecutions for incitement of racial hatred, a number of which involved the publication of antisemitic material online.