A grassroots campaign, it grew largely out of social media activity among those who felt more should be done to promote the Jewish community's concerns after a meeting to discuss responses where a campaigner had her concerns dismissed by Board of Deputies president Vivian Wineman.
In January 2015, the then UK Home Secretary, Theresa May, praised CAA for its work and undertook to ensure that the law against antisemitism is "robustly enforced".
CAA's National Antisemitic Crime Audit collects and analyses antisemitic crime data from all police forces in the UK. CAA uses the report to assess trends in antisemitic crime and to make recommendations to the British government.
We were somewhat disappointed to note that not all of the messages from that group (the CAA) have been in line with CST’s stated approach of seeking to avoid undue panic and alarm. We encourage Jewish communal leaders and others when speaking on antisemitism to follow CST’s example and to be reassuring and responsible in their language, taking into account the activity which as we have outlined had been undertaken before the summer and during it. So too, it is important that the leadership do not conflate concerns about activity legitimately protesting Israel’s actions with antisemitism, as we have seen has been the case on some occasions.
In July 2018, the Labour MP Margaret Hodge became one of a number of honorary patrons of CAA. In the run up to the 2019 United Kingdom general election, CAA asked her to resign because she was standing as a Labour Party candidate; she did so but described their decision as "both astonishing and wounding", showing a lack of respect and impugning her integrity.
Rallies and petitions
Their first demonstration was against the Tricycle Theatre in London which, in August 2014, had refused to participate in that November's UK Jewish Film Festival due to the contemporaneous conflict in Gaza, unless the festival rejected funding from parties involved, notably a £1400 sponsorship from the Israeli embassy, which the Tricycle Theatre offered to replace. Later in August, following discussions with the festival organizers, the Tricycle withdrew its condition.
Also in August 2018 the organisation launched a change.org petition titled "Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite and must go", the petition featuring a Labour slogan modified to read "For the many not the Jew", was signed by over 30,000 by 30 August 2018. A counter petition against the CAA with the title "To Get the Charity Commission to Deregister the Zionist Campaign Against Anti-Semitism" was signed by almost 7,500 and sent to the Charity Commission, which said in response that it was "assessing concerns raised about the Campaign Against Antisemitism’s campaigning activities". In October 2018, the Charity Commission noted that charities must be independent of party politics and insisted that the CAA reword its petition.
In November 2018, the CAA asked the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to investigate the Labour Party. In May 2019, following complaints submitted by the Jewish Labour Movement and the CAA, the EHRC launched a formal investigation into whether Labour had "unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish".
CAA has used the process of judicial review to scrutinise and reverse decisions made by the British government and authorities. In March 2017, CAA forced the CPS to quash a decision not to prosecute an alleged far-right leader over a speech in which he issued a call to "free England from Jewish control".
In December 2017 the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute a Islamic Human Rights Commission director who was one of the organisers of a Quds Day rally, who, during the rally, allegedly stated that Zionists were responsible for the Grenfell Tower fire, called for Israel's destruction, and that he was fed up with Zionists, their rabbis, synagogues, and supporters. The CAA attempted to begin a private prosecution for inciting racial or religious hatred, however this was blocked by the CPS, as they had determined there was no "realistic prospect of conviction".
In July 2018, Gilad Atzmon was forced to apologise to Gideon Falter, the chairman of the CAA, over a libel. Atzmon had falsely alleged that Falter had personally profited from fabricating antisemitic incidents. He will be ordered to pay legal costs and damages.
In 2019, the CAA was sued by Tony Greenstein for libel in relation to what is or is not antisemitism following five articles it had published about him. In 2017, Greenstein had launched a petition asking the Charity Commission to deregister the organisation, claiming its purpose was to limit freedom of speech by calling opponents of Israel antisemitic.
Opposition to events
In August 2019, the organisation asked Goldsmiths, University of London to cancel a booking made by the Communist Party of Great Britain because they objected to some of the speakers who, they said, "have a history of baiting Jews or outright antisemitism". The university in response referenced their commitment to free speech and that hiring event space to legal organisations was a common practice amongst universities.
^Sarah K. Cardaun, (19 Jun 2015). Countering Contemporary Antisemitism in Britain: Government and Civil Society Responses between Universalism and Particularism. Brill Publishers. p. 152. ISBN9789004300880.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)