The CST Antisemitic Incidents Report for the first half of 2017 indicates a disturbing increase in abuse and attacks targeted at Jewish people in the UK, with 767 incidents that constitute a 30% increase compared to the same period in 2016.
The situation on campus does not follow the wider national trend, with a small decrease in the number of reported incidents affecting Jewish students, academics, student unions and other student bodies (20 in 2017 compared to 27 in 2016.) However, we are dismayed by the accounts of Holocaust denial literature and antisemitic graffiti found on campus; incidents to which we responded swiftly and appropriately at the time, providing guidance and support to all those involved.
We are further troubled by the overall growing trend in the UK. In particular, the 78% increase in antisemitic violent assaults nationally is of great concern. Whilst none of these attacks were against Jewish students, we urge all Jewish students to continue being aware of their surroundings and to follow the advice of CST and campus security authorities where necessary.
We have made progress in this period, seeing National Action no platformed by NUS then proscribed as a terrorist organisation. We have also worked proactively to secure support from NUS, Students Unions, Universities UK and Labour Clubs across the country for robust definitions in universities and Students Unions, effective training and proper procedures to prevent and deal sensitively and swiftly with antisemitism on campus.
UJS remains determined to combat antisemitism on campus and will continue to support any student who faces antisemitism. We are grateful for our partnership with and support from CST, as well as campus security authorities and the police where necessary, to ensure the safety of Jewish students at all times.
Any Jewish student who is concerned about antisemitism should feel free to contact UJS. Students who would like to help ensure the safety of their peers are encouraged to find out more about joining CST’s Student Security Officers here.
Safety and security advice:
Jewish students are urged to stay alert but not alarmed. The Antisemitic Incidents Report, January-June 2017 does not mean that you are more likely to encounter antisemitism on campus or anywhere else. Nonetheless, it is important to heed the advice below from CST when you are on campus, at J-Soc events or anywhere else:
- Members of the community should not gather outside communal buildings and events.
- Be alert for suspicious people and activities. This includes parked cars and unattended items near communal buildings and Jewish neighbourhoods.
- Report suspicious activity to the Police on 999 and then tell CST.
- Prevent ‘tailgating’. Do not allow anyone you do not know to follow closely behind you, attempting to gain access to the building when gates or doors are opened.