University of Bristol
University of Bristol ISTOCK

A British survey of campus anti-Semitism is sounding “alarm bells” with data showing incidents have reached historic levels.

The Community Security Trust (CST) survey found that anti-Semitic incidents at British universities increased from 70 in the 2019-2020 academic year to 111 in 2020-2021, with the 59 percent increase being the highest figure recorded by the CST since it began recording incidents 20 years ago, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

The CST said that its findings “should ring alarm bells for everyone in the higher education sector.”

Nearly all the cases were verbal, written or online anti-Semitism. There was one recorded incident of assault.

Most of the reported abuse took place in May (64 cases). The nine incidents at the University of Oxford all occurred during the 11 day conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The two universities with the most cases were the University of Bristol and the University of Warwick, each with 11.

The Jewish community at the University of Bristol experienced the bulk of the incidents in February as news of comments targeting Jewish students made by a now-fired sociology professor made headlines.

“The fact that this record total coincided with the recent conflict in Israel and Gaza shows yet again that wherever extreme anti-Israel hate is found, anti-Jewish hatred surely follows,” a CST spokesperson told the Chronicle.

They added that universities had an obligation to make sure their “complaints processes are fit for purpose and that Jewish students get the necessary support when they suffer anti-Semitism.”

In August, the CST issued a report showing that British Jews experienced record levels of anti-Semitism in the first half of 2021, with a 491 percent increase in school-related incidents.

The document detailed 1,308 anti-Semitic incidents between January and June, the highest number ever recorded by the CST.

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