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July 31, 2015 2

Significant Increase in Anti-Semitic Incidents in UK for 2015

CST, ADL’s part­ner in UK, reported today a sig­nif­i­cant increase in anti-Semitic inci­dents for first half of 2015, com­pared to the same period in 2014, but cau­tioned against alarm: “Detailed analy­sis of the tim­ing, con­tent and sources of every one of these recorded anti­se­mitic inci­dents sug­gests that, while they may partly reflect a real rise in inci­dent lev­els, the pri­mary expla­na­tion for the rise is most likely to be a greater will­ing­ness by peo­ple to report anti­semitism, either to CST or Police.”

CST report

The report does con­tain, how­ever, some dis­turb­ing findings:

-          Forty-four vio­lent anti-Semitic assaults were recorded dur­ing the period, includ­ing two instances of “griev­ous bod­ily harm.”  The num­ber of vio­lent inci­dents dou­bled from 2014.

-          Syn­a­gogues were tar­geted 25 times in first half of 2015.

-          Twenty inci­dents occurred at Jew­ish schools; 10 at pub­lic schools; and 14 inci­dents involved Jew­ish chil­dren or school staff on their way to or from school.  Three of the inci­dents involv­ing chil­dren were clas­si­fied under “Assaults.”

Infor­ma­tion on per­pe­tra­tors and moti­va­tions was also reported, though with caveats about the reli­a­bil­ity of infor­ma­tion from vic­tims about the per­pe­tra­tors’ eth­nic­ity.  The report cat­e­go­rizes the per­pe­tra­tors’ “eth­nic appear­ance” as:

-          54% “white – north European”

-          23% “south Asian”

-          13% “black”

-          6% “Arab or north African”

-          3% “white – south European”

-          1% “east or south-east Asian”

Polit­i­cal dis­course was reported in just 36% of inci­dents, with far-right lan­guage mak­ing up the vast major­ity.   Ref­er­ences to Israel, Zion­ism or the Mid­dle East were reported to have been made in less than 7% of incidents.

These num­bers should put to rest the com­monly held mis­con­cep­tion that anti-Semitic inci­dents are pri­mar­ily dri­ven by reac­tions to the Mid­dle East con­flict.  Yes, fight­ing between Israelis and Pales­tini­ans can trig­ger an upsurge, but right-wing extrem­ist anti-Semitism remains a seri­ous con­cern in the UK and elsewhere.

For more data on anti-Semitic atti­tudes in the UK, see ADL’s 2014 Global 100 sur­vey and 2015 fol­low up.

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December 17, 2013 2

Qatari Book Fair Highlighting UK Partnership Marred By Anti-Semitism


British and Qatari offi­cials tour book fair

The Doha Inter­na­tional Book Fair, held in Qatar on Decem­ber 4–14 and billed as part of “Qatar-UK 2013” — a year of “events to cel­e­brate and develop the part­ner­ship between Qatar and the United King­dom” — fea­tured many anti-Semitic books from sev­eral dif­fer­ent pub­lish­ers and avail­able from mul­ti­ple book sellers. 

A state­ment from the Qatari Min­is­ter of Cul­ture on the fair’s web­site noted that the UK was selected as the “guest of honor.” The fair’s web­site also included a photo of the British Min­is­ter of Cul­ture with his Qatari coun­ter­part vis­it­ing the event.

The anti-Semitic Arabic-language books were avail­able at the fair, accord­ing to the web­site, which included a floor index of where vis­i­tors could phys­i­cally pur­chase the book.

For exam­ple, sev­eral pub­lish­ers from Syria, Egypt, Jor­dan and Lebanon offered dif­fer­ent ver­sions of the noto­ri­ous anti-Semitic forgery The Pro­to­cols of the Learned Elders of Zion and sold them at var­i­ous prices. Another anti-Semitic book titled, The Secrets of the Tal­mud, Expos­ing the Jew­ish Plot to Con­trol the World, was sold for 75.00 Qatari Rials (about 20 US$).

Books pro­mot­ing Hitler, Holo­caust denial and anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries were on dis­play in var­i­ous sec­tions (e.g., The Facts About the Zionist-Nazi Secrete Rela­tions).

Accord­ing to Qatari media, the British Embassy in Doha and the British Cul­tural Coun­cil helped orga­nize British par­tic­i­pa­tion in the fair. The UK helped orga­nize “work­shops for fam­i­lies, chil­dren and book enthu­si­asts,” accord­ing to the fair website.

The sale of anti-Semitic books is counter to the fair’s mis­sion, as stated on its web­site, of “rais­ing the cul­tural and intel­lec­tual level of the soci­ety.” It also under­mines the larger aim of “Qatar-UK 2013,” which seeks to “increase engage­ment between the peo­ple of both coun­tries in the spirit of inno­va­tion, open­ness and learning.”

Just last month, the Shar­jah Inter­na­tional Book Fair (SIBF) in the United Arab Emi­rates, which report­edly attracted 1 mil­lion vis­i­tors from across the region, fea­tured sev­eral infa­mous anti-Semitic books as well.

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