Report records shocking rise of violent anti-Semitism in western Europe in 2009

12 April 2010

A new study by the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism in Tel Aviv has revealed a strong surge in violent anti-Semitism in 2009, which in western Europe has now reached the highest level in decades. The number of recorded violent incidents against Jews, or Jewish sites, totaled 1,129 last year, compared to 559 in 2008 – a rise of 102 percent. In addition, there were “many more hundreds of threats, insults, graffiti signs and slogans and demonstrations featuring virulently anti-Semitic content… sometimes resulting in violence,” according to the report.

"The year ... was the worst since monitoring of anti-Semitic manifestations began two decades ago, in terms of both major anti-Semitic violence and the hostile atmosphere generated worldwide by the mass demonstrations and verbal and visual expressions against Israel and the Jews," the study states.

Dina Porat, the director of the Stephen Roth Institute, told journalists at a press conference that anti-Semitism was directly linked to anti-Zionism. "Political goals are imbued with anti-Jewish sentiment and equations of Jews to Nazis," she said. Her study was published on the eve of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day Yom HaShoah.

In Britain, 374 manifestations of violence against Jews were recorded in 2009, compared to 112 in 2008. France – which has the largest Jewish community in Europe – reported 195 violent attacks against Jews, compared to 50 in 2008. Canada saw 130 incidents in 2009, compared to 13 in 2008, and the United States 116 compared to 98. The study records 566 incidents of vandalism targeting Jewish property worldwide in 2009, constituting 49 percent of all incidents. Germany, Russia and Ukraine were not as badly affected by the rise, and may even have seen a decrease in incidents for 2009, the report found.

Forty-one incidents were armed assaults against Jews because of their religion. Thirty-four arson attacks were recorded. Threats of violence against Jews and Jewish institutions accounted for 29 percent of all incidents.

The report attributes the surge in anti-Semitic acts in large parts to the 2009 Gaza war. However, Professor Robert Wistrich of Hebrew University in Jerusalem was quoted as saying by ‘Voice of America’ that "All kinds of new pretexts can serve to ignite anti-Semitism, particularly through anti-Israel feeling, through anti-Zionism; and above all it is Israel that has become the obsession of the anti-Semites."

Moshe Kantor, the president of the European Jewish Congress, which co-sponsored the report, criticized some Jewish communities for "remaining silent" on anti-Semitism, but praised French and British Jewish leaders for speaking out forcefully against anti-Semitism. Kantor also said that the rise in anti-Jewish sentiment in Western Europe was a “new phenomenon financed and organized by pro-Islamic, pro-terrorist organizations and states."

Porat said: "We had the feeling, which was corroborated by the facts, that the radical left - sometimes together with Jews and former Israelis, this is very disturbing - worked together with the radical Muslim leadership, using anti-Semitism and the Holocaust as political tools, to make Israel as a Jewish state a political target.”



Read more about the findings of the report on the website of the Stephen Roth Institute.


 

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Comments

Victor

Tue, 07 Sep 2010

I am amazed that so many Jews are surprised by antisemitism; it is a historical constant. The cause is simple; Jews are smart, Jews work hard, Jews in many subtle and no subtle ways do not respect Christian and Islamic beliefs because they see them as corrupted derivatives of Judaism and rightly so, the Jews acquire power and influence that allows them to bypass the value of each individual voter in the US. This means they operate justcas any big business lobby or big labor lobby and are equally despised by the American people. Jews manage to ensure the interests of Israel are put aheadof the interests of the US. Jews do not seem to see they are 2% of the US population and that means theycan have a lot of influence, for a while, but not real power because power comes from the masses once aroused (think of all the heavy duty violent revolutions). The last frontier for Jews is to find a way to be truly be accepted and trusted by "host" societies. As longas they are unable to do that (historically they havenot) you can be sure antisemitism is as eternal and undefeatableas Judaism. So be ready for the virulent antisemitism comig to the US specially if socioeconomically the US continues to slide.

Joshua

Sat, 17 Apr 2010

Sometimes i just want to shake peaceful Muslims and tell them if it happens to us ,it will happen to them eventually.We have more experience with it than they do and more knowledgable about it.Eyes and ears wide open about the radical left/right and will continue to lean towards Israel to counteract their threats.