The symbolic parliamentary vote on Palestinian statehood last year stoked anti-Semitism, the Community Security Trust has said.
In a report published on Monday on anti-Semitic discourse in the UK in 2014, authors discuss the impact of the October motion, which called for the symbolic recognition of a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel. A total of 274 MPs voted for it, while only 12 MPs voted against it.
“The vote sparked reactions that explicitly or implicitly evoked anti-Semitic conspiracy charges, against either British or American Jewish and pro-Israel lobbies,” the report states.
“This echoed accusations commonly heard during the July-August [Gaza] conflict, that some form of conspiracy or fear was determining Government and mainstream media reactions to the conflict.”
The CST’s 37-page report notes that “explicit anti-Semitism against Jews per se, simply for their being Jewish, remains rare” in British public life, despite an unprecedented number of anti-Semitic incidents reported in 2014.
Authors also conclude that last year’s war in Gaza was “the first conflict involving Israel at a time when social media is all pervading” which “resulted in a quicker spread of anti-Semitic discourse, threats and themes than previously seen”.
Among the more repulsive examples of such trends were the hashtag #Hitlerwasright which appeared across Twitter for several days at the height of the bombing.
The issue is being belatedly addressed by social media companies, and four weeks ago, Several Twitter accounts were shut down after a Jewish student who reported a racist poster at Birmingham University was bombarded with anti-Semitic messages.
Elsewhere, the CST report listed prominent examples of high-profile cases of anti-Semitism, including the abuse received by Labour MP Luciana Berger and in the world of football.
Among the controversies listed were Nicolas Anelka, who performed his “quenelle” salute after scoring, as well as Wigan Athletic manager Malky Mackay and his chairman Dave Whelan, who defended their use of age-old anti-Semitic stereotypes.