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Anti-Semitic race hate incidents reach record.

The number of violent assaults on Jews in the UK reached record levels last year, although the overall number of anti-Semitic incidents fell, new figures showed yesterday. There were a total of 547 "anti-Semitic race hate incidents" - defined as malicious acts toward the Jewish community - in 2007, the Community Security Trust (CST) said.

This represented the second highest total on record and an eight per cent fall on the previous year's record high number of 594 attacks. The number of violent assaults rose slightly to 114 incidents, the highest number since CST began its records in 1984, it said.

The CST said the overall drop in incidents could be explained by a lack of "trigger events" from the Middle East or elsewhere during 2007, which would normally lead to temporary "spikes".

In 2006, the war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon led to the highest ever recorded number of anti-Semitic incidents in the UK, the report said.

It warned that the decrease from 2006 did not alter the longterm trend of rising incident levels since the late 1990s. Among last year's 547 incidents were 114 assaults - up two per cent from the 112 assaults in 2006 - one of which was life threatening.

The remainder included 328 incidents of abusive behaviour, 62 acts of damage and desecration of Jewish property, 24 threats and 19 cases of mass-produced anti-Semitic literature.

A further 488 potential incidents were investigated by the CST but not judged to be anti-Semitic. The victims were largely Jewish individuals and community organisations, especially synagogues, the CST said.

CST spokesman Mark Gardner said: "The fall in the number of anti-Semitic incidents is very welcome, but is less than we had hoped for. 2007 was still the second worst year on record and the worst ever for violent assaults.

"Over the past decade there has been a significant rise in the basic level of anti-Semitic incidents in our society, and it is affecting the lives of far too many British Jews."
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 15, 2008
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