'Explicit' Anti-Semitism Rare in Britain: Report

Most Incidents Focus on Israel or Conspiracy Theories

By JTA

Published November 29, 2012.
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Explicit anti-Semitism is rare in British public life, Britain’s Community Security Trust said in a report on anti-Semitic discourse in Britain in 2011.

The 35-page report issued Thursday also reported that anti-Semitic themes alleging Jewish conspiracy, power and hostility to others can resonate within mainstream discourse about Israel and about so-called “Zionists.”

Explicit anti-Semitism tends to occur within circles that are also racist or hateful toward other groups, according to the report.

In addition, fears that economic troubles in 2011 would spark anti-Semitism in Britain proved largely unfounded, but the trend to blame “Zionism” for anti-Muslim hatred intensified. This manifested itself, for example, in allegations that Zionism inspired Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik.

The British daily newspaper The Guardian reinforced its reputation as being the most subjective and contentious mainstream newspaper on issues of anti-Semitism in the context of Israel and Zionism, according to the report, despite the paper also warning against anti-Semitism in editorials.

The report also found that fears and concerns about anti-Semitism expressed by mainstream Jewish communities and bodies are routinely ignored, or even maliciously misrepresented, within what are known as progressive circles, including some media, trade unions and churches. Few other minority representative groups, if any, are treated with such reflexive suspicion and ill will, according to the report.


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