Skip to main content

UK sees fivefold increase in antisemitic incidents after 7 October, monitoring group says

Community Security Trust says Hamas attack and subsequent conflict led to a 589 percent increase in anti-Jewish incidents
An Orthodox Jewish man walks in Stamford Hill, London, Britain, 8 April 2020 (Hannah McKay/Reuters)

The UK saw a more than fivefold increase in antisemitic incidents in the wake of the 7 October attacks in southern Israel, a monitoring group said.

In a report released on Thursday, the Community Security Trust (CST), which monitors antisemitic incidents in the UK, said that it had recorded 4,103 such events in 2023, the highest total in a calendar year reported to the organisation, a 589 percent increase compared to the same period in 2022.

According to the report there were 87 incidents recorded at Jewish schools, compared with 20 the year before, while a further 111 incidents involved Jewish children away from school, compared with 41 in 2022.

It added that 127 involved Jewish children or staff at non-faith schools and that two-thirds of the 2023 incidents occurred after 7 October.

The organisation described the 7 October attack as a “trigger event [that] had a seismic effect on antisemitic incident levels in the UK...and the impact was instant."

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked


The attack killed at least 1,140 people, around 750 of whom were civilians, and saw around 240 people taken captive to Gaza, a number of whom were later freed, mainly through negotiations.

In the wake of the attack, Israel launched an assault on Gaza which has continued to the present day, leaving over 28,600 Palestinians dead.

'Free Palestine'

Although Israel's attack on the enclave - which it has besieged since 2007 - began rapidly after the killings in southern Israel, the CST said the antisemitic incidents in the UK spiked "before Israel had coordinated any substantive military response”.

The most frequent form of antisemitic rhetoric in 2023, according to the organisation, made reference to or was linked to Israel, Palestine, the "Hamas terror attack or the subsequent war”.

Between 1 January and 6 October 2023, 19 percent of the reported incidents included “Israel-related antisemitism” but between 7 October and 31 December the proportion rose to 56 percent.

“In at least 427 instances, the phrase ‘Free Palestine’ was employed in speech or writing," said the CST, in a statement.

"Although not an inherently antisemitic statement, in each of these cases it was targeted at Jewish people or institutions simply because they were Jewish, or formed part of a larger tirade including overtly anti-Jewish sentiments."

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.