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Anti-Semitism a Growing Problem in Europe

EU report: Jews live in fear of abuse

Desecrated Jewish cemetery in France / AP
• November 8, 2013 1:27 pm

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Anti-Semitism is on the rise in several European countries, according to a new report from the European Union.

Seventy-six percent of Jews surveyed by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights reported that anti-Semitism was "growing more acute" in Europe and 57 percent said they witnessed someone claim that the Holocaust was a myth or exaggerated.

The survey included 5,847 self-identified Jews over 16 years old living in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The participants were asked about anti-Semitic occurrences they had experienced in the last 12 months.

More than half of those surveyed said they heard people say "Israelis behave ‘like Nazis' towards the Palestinians" within this last year, while 37 percent reported hearing someone say "Jews exploit Holocaust victimhood for their own purposes."

More than a quarter reported experiencing some form of anti-Semitic harassment, which included violence, threats, and vandalism. At least 76 percent of the victims did not report the crimes to the authorities.

More than half of those surveyed reported witnessing someone with "extreme left wing views" express anti-Semitic opinions in the last year, while 51 percent said they observed someone with extreme Muslim views do the same.

The majority of respondents said that anti-Semitism was largely driven by the "Israeli-Arab conflict."

"Anti-Semitism due to prejudices against Israel is increasing […] This is more dangerous than the ‘traditional' extreme right-wing anti-Semitism, because it is less visible but more deceitful and pervasive," an Italian woman said to researchers.

One German man said that he did not believe anti-Semitism was a major issue in Germany at large, however it was prevalent in certain groups within the country’s population.

"If there is any anti-Semitism in Germany, it is actually hatred of Israel on the part of the Muslims who live here," he said.

The new report is the first of its kind from the EU agency due to its analysis of comparable data. The Times of Israel reported, before the survey was published,  that a quarter of respondents were afraid to wear a "kippah" due to the rising anti-Semitism in the area.

Published under: Anti-Semitism