The number of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain rose to an all-time high in the first half of the year, according to a charity which aims to protect British Jews, whereas more than 60 percent of politically-motivated attacks were linked to the far-right.
There were 767 anti-Semitic incidents, mainly abusive behavior or assault, in the first six months of 2017, the Community Security Trust (CST) reported, a 30 percent increase from the same period in 2016. According to the report, 80 incidents were physical assaults -- almost double last year's figure of 45.
"Some of this may be down to improved reporting, but it is sadly clear that the overall situation has deteriorated," said CST Chief Executive David Delew.
"Anti-Semitism is having an increasing impact on the lives of British Jews and the hatred and anger that lies behind it is spreading."
Head of communications for CST Mark Gardner said the charity struggled to pinpoint the trigger behind the increase, but said anti-Semitism could be an indicator of the state of society as a whole.
"It may be that it sits with a general rise in racism or just an increase in the division in society. There is an anger or frustration that seems to be the ambient mood out there," Gardner said.
About 74 percent of the attacks so far in 2017 have occurred in the main Jewish areas of London and Manchester.
The CST recorded 56 direct threats against Jews in the first six months of 2017, 25 of them involving direct face-to-face verbal abuse, a 27 percent increase from the same period a year before. Ten of those threats involved knives, bats or cars.
The CST said abuse on social media made up 142 of the anti-Semitic incidents in 2017, up from 136 incidents in 2016.
"Social media has become an essential tool for those who wish to harass, abuse or threaten Jewish public figured and institutions," the CST said.
The CST also said 23 percent of the incidents were politically motivated, with far-right leanings connected to the majority of those incidents.
"115 incidents showed evidence of far-right motivation; 49 showed evidence of anti-Zionist motivation; and 12 showed evidence of Islamist motivation," the report said, noting that 51 percent of the perpetrators of the attacks were described as White Europeans, 24 percent were described as South Asians, 17 percent were described as Black and 5 percent were described as Arab or North African.
Jewish schools were the target in 22 anti-Semitic attacks, up from 10.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd responded to the report and said people should be encouraged to report these kind of incidents.
"Anti-Semitism has no place in this country, which prides itself on openness, diversity and tolerance," she said.
"This government's Hate Crime Action Plan has improved the response of law enforcement to these deplorable crimes, including encouraging more victims to report incidents directly to police or via trusted organizations such as CST," Rudd added.
Rudd also said the U.K. government was providing £13.4 million ($17.6 million) to protect Jewish sites and £900,000 ($1.2 million) for "innovative schemes to tackle various types of hate crime".