(JTA) – Nearly a third of British Jews said they have considered leaving the United Kingdom over the past two years due to anti-Semitism.
The findings are part of a report published Sunday by the Campaign Against Antisemitism watchdog group and the YouGov market research company.
In interviews conducted in 2016 and 2017 with a combined sample of 7,156 respondents, 37 per cent said they have been concealing in public signs that would indicate that they are Jewish.
Fifty-nine per cent of the respondents since 2015 said they feel welcome in the United Kingdom; 17 per cent said they feel unwelcome. Another 39 per cent of respondents from 2015 onward said they trust justice authorities to prosecute perpetrators of anti-Semitic hate crimes.
Three-quarters of those interviewed said they feel that recent political events have resulted in increased hostility toward Jews. Since 2015, 80 per cent of respondents said they believe that the Labour Party is harboring anti-Semites in its ranks.
In 2015, Jeremy Corbyn, a far-left politician who in 2009 called Hezbollah and Hamas his “friends,” was elected to lead Labour. Corbyn has been accused of allowing anti-Semitism to grow among the many thousands of supporters who joined the party in support of his policies.
Corbyn has denied this claim, vowing to punish anyone who is found initiating or participating in hate speech. Dozens of members were expelled from Labour under Corbyn as part of this policy. However, several Labour members who were accused of anti-Semitic hate speech were readmitted or let off with suspensions or reprimands, including former London mayor Ken Livingstone, who repeatedly said last year that Adolf Hitler was a Zionist.
On Aug. 15, the Campaign Against Antisemitism protested the selection of Luke Cresswell, a local politician who wrote online that “Moses must be proud” of supposed “genocide” by Israel, as a Labour candidate.
The survey’s respondents said they considered Islamist anti-Semitism “to be the threat that concerned them the most, and that rapidly rising hate crime targeting Jews was not being tackled by the authorities,” Campaign Against Antisemitism wrote.
The Jewish community of the United Kingdom recorded 767 anti-Semitic attacks in the first half of 2017 – the highest figure recorded within six months since monitoring began in 1984. In February, the Community Security Trust watchdog reported a record 1,309 incidents in 2016, constituting a 36 percent increase over the 2015 tally.
Among the respondents who told the Campaign Against Antisemitism that they were considering leaving Britain was a daughter of the late mayor of Birmingham, Harold Blumenthal. The daughter, Mandy, “is now making preparations to leave Britain due to mounting anti-Semitism in politics and anti-Semitic crime, and the failure to tackle it,” the group said in a statement about their report.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism called on the government to urgently implement the group’s past recommendations, including specific training and guidance on anti-Semitic hate crime for officers and prosecutors.
The 2016 National Antisemitic Crime Audit registered a total of 1,078 anti-Semitic crimes, including 105 that were violent. Only one of the violent crimes was prosecuted, according to the audit. In total, only 15 cases were prosecuted, leading to the conviction of 17 suspects.
Political parties were encouraged by the Campaign Against Antisemitism in its report to adopt the government’s definition of anti-Semitism, which cites vitriolic hate speech against Israel as an expression.