Re­port shows rise in on­line an­ti­semitism

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY JENNI FRAZER

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.

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