European Jews Increasingly Insecure, Anti-Semitism Report Finds
Written by TPS on April 11, 2018
Violent anti-Semitic incidents worldwide declined in 2017, but European Jews feel increasingly insecure, according to the annual report on global anti-Semitism from Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, released on Wednesday on the eve Holocaust Remembrance Day.
While overall the report cited a moderate decrease in anti-Semitic violence with around 327 cases, compared to 361 in 2016, the last weeks of the year and the first months of 2018 were characterized by a steep rise in violent incidents. The report noted that US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December of last year was used as a pretext for demonstrations, accompanied by attacks on Jews, anti-Semitic slogans, including calls for murder of Jews, and the burning of the Israeli flag.
The report noted that one of the reasons for the decline in the number of incidents was better security and intelligence and allocation of government budgets. However this was not perceived as a positive development as the presence of security measures is seen as a reflection of their necessity. For the second consecutive year, the report’s authors said their most disturbing finding was an “ominous feeling of insecurity” among Jews in Europe, intensified by the recent murders of two Jewish women in their homes in Paris. The authors chose to open the report by noting that tens of thousands of French Jews have relocated inside the country and opened the report with the words “We had to relocate because we are Jews.”
Anti-Semitism has caused a corrosion of Jewish life in some countries, the report said. “once there are Jews who do not participate in Jewish traditional gatherings, or do not appear in the public sphere identified as Jews – the ability to live a full Jewish communal and individual life in jeopardizes, and so is Jewish identity,” the authors wrote.
The report also notes the rise of the extreme Right in several European countries and the Charlottesville, Virginia, events of August 2017.
Extreme right-wing parties in Europe have declared their intention to distance themselves from their past and their former public image, and their leaders publicly
emphasize their positive attitude towards Israel, and their commitment to fight anti-Semitism, the authors note, but add that their public declarations do not yet correlate with reality.
Photo by Hillel Maeir/TPS on April 11, 2018