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Rise of anti-semitic incidents

Last updated: 2003-05-02

The Community Security Trust recorded 89 anti-semitic incidents in Britain in the first quarter of 2003, a 75% rise on the first quarter of last year, when 51 incidents occurred. This follows a 13% increase in anti-semitic incidents in 2002 on the previous year.

There were 43 incidents in March 2003, the highest total for the month of March for 11 years. This significant rise in incidents coincided with the war in Iraq, as was predicted by both the Police and Jewish Communal organisations. The anti-war movement consistently linked the issues of Iraq on the one hand and events in Israel and Palestine on the other, despite the Jewish community’s warnings that this would lead to antisemitic incidents.

Mike Whine, CST Director of Communications commented, "The increase in anti-semitic incidents is a cause for concern. The Iraq War fed anti-semitism because groups from across the political and social spectrum alleged that the war was fought for 'Zionist' interests."

There were 21 anti-semitic incidents in January and 25 in February 2003. 11 of the incidents in the first quarter took place on university campuses.