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British Anti-Semitic Incidents Double to All-Time High

(JTA) — A Jewish security watchdog group in Britain recorded 1,168 anti-Semitic incidents for 2014, the highest annual total ever recorded.

The 2014 incidents recorded by the Community Security Trust are more than double the 535 anti-Semitic incidents recorded in 2013, and the first time that the group has recorded more than 1,000 anti-Semitic incidents in a calendar year. The previous record high was 931 anti-Semitic incidents, in 2009.

The CST runs an incident hotline.

The highest monthly totals coincide with the summer’s Israel-Gaza conflict, which lasted from July 8, 2014, to Aug. 26, 2014. CST recorded the highest-ever monthly total of 314 anti-Semitic incidents in July, and the third-highest ever monthly total of 228 incidents in August. For comparison, there were 59 incidents recorded in July 2013 and 48 in August 2013.

The incidents included 81 violent assaults – with one considered extreme violence involving a threat to life, an increase of 17 percent from 2013; 81 incidents of damage and desecration to Jewish property, an increase of 65 percent from the previous year; 884 incidents of abusive behavior – such as verbal abuse, hate mail, anti-Semitic graffiti on non-Jewish property and anti-Semitic content on social media, up 136 percent from 2013; 92 incidents of threats, up 142 percent from 2013; and 30 incidents of literature, such as mass-produced anti-Semitic mailings and emails.

More than half of the incidents involved verbal abuse directed at random Jewish people in public, and 233 of the incidents involved the use of internet-based social media, according to CST.

Some 69 of the incidents targeted synagogues, and another 41 targeted worshipers on their way to or from prayer. Another 66 incidents targeted Jewish schools.

“These attacks are not only an attack on British Jews, but an attack on all of us and our shared values. This is totally unacceptable. Those who perpetrate hate crimes of any kind will be punished with the full force of the law,” British Communities Secretary Eric Pickles told the Guardian.

“We need to do everything we can to help this community feel safe and secure in our country,” Prime Minister David Cameron told Parliament on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. “I would hate it for British Jews not to feel that they have a home here in Britain – safe, secure and a vital part of our community.”

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