March 2, 2021

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COVID conspiracy theories trigger anti-Semitic incidents in UK: Report

War Michael Holden

London, Feb. .

The Social Security Foundation (CST), which advises nearly 280,000 British Jews on security matters, reported 1,668 incidents in 2020. This figure represents an 8% drop from 2019, which showed the highest figures on record.

Despite the decline, the CST said it was the third highest number since the series began in 1984.

“The COVID-19 eruption not only led to a new medium, the perpetrators expressed anti-Semitic sentiments; it also gave them new streams of anti-Semitic discourse,” the report said.

The CST reported 41 cases of the epidemic ranging from conspiracy theories about Jewish involvement in the spread of the disease for harmful and financial purposes to expressions of hope that Jews would die of the virus.

The report said that although there were fewer incidents in schools or chapels due to serious infections, the number of cases in people’s homes had increased.

Of the total incidents, 100 were classified as violent, 39% lower than the previous year, although they were classified as three “serious acts of violence” but were considered serious physical harm or life threatening.

“In the 21st century, it is disgraceful for the Jewish community to face racist abuse and the desecration of its synagogues and other religious and social sites,” Home Minister Priti Patel declared.

The record-breaking events of 2019 were partly triggered by anti-Semitic allegations within the opposition Labor Party.

In October, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) claimed that the Labor Party was responsible for illegal harassment and discrimination in handling anti-Semitic allegations, prompting the party to suspend its former leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

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The CST said there were 175 Labor-related incidents in 2020, which is lower than in previous years, despite the increase during the EHRC report, following the decision to remove Corbyn.

(Edited by Janice Huambacano in Spanish)