Report warns of alarming upsurge of anti-Semitism in US, Europe

01 May 2019 - 15:40 By afp
Members of the Kaye Family and other mourners attend the burial service for Lori Gilbert Kaye, who was killed in the Chabad of Poway Synagogue shooting, at El Camino cemetery in San Diego, California, on April 29 2019. A rabbi who carried on preaching despite being wounded in the shooting said on April 28 that Jews would not be intimidated by the "senseless hate" of anti-semitism.
Members of the Kaye Family and other mourners attend the burial service for Lori Gilbert Kaye, who was killed in the Chabad of Poway Synagogue shooting, at El Camino cemetery in San Diego, California, on April 29 2019. A rabbi who carried on preaching despite being wounded in the shooting said on April 28 that Jews would not be intimidated by the "senseless hate" of anti-semitism.
Image: Sandy Huffaker / AFP

Anti-Semitism is on the rise in parts of the US and Europe where Jews once felt safe, a report warned Wednesday, citing an "increasing sense of emergency."

Moshe Kantor, the president of the European Jewish Congress, sounded the alarm in an annual report from his Kantor Center that draws on official statistics.

The report comes four days after a gunman killed one person and wounded three in a synagogue near San Diego and six months after 11 died in a similar attack in Pittsburgh.

"In 2018, we witnessed the largest number of Jews murdered in a single year since decades," Kantor said, deploring a 13-percent rise in "severe and violent" incidents.

The rise in anti-Semitic violence, threats and harassment has been documented elsewhere, including by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights and US Anti-Defamation League.

Kantor's report combines their figures with expert testimony from researchers and community leaders, and paints an alarming picture.

"Anti-Semitism is no longer limited to the far-Left, far-Right and radical Islamists, it has become mainstreamed and often accepted by the civil society," Kantor said.

"It represents a clear danger not only to Jews but to society as a whole," he warned, in remarks prepared for a speech to be given on Wednesday at Tel Aviv University.

The country in Kantor's survey with the most cases of major violence against Jews was the US, with more than 100, followed by Britain with 68.

France had only 35 cases of outright violence, but the largest increase in across-the-board anti-Semitic incidents, including non-violent threats and harassment.

Germany also saw 35 major violent incidents in 2018, according to the report, representing a 70% increase since 2017.

"The most disturbing development, that keeps continuing and intensifying since 2016, is that Jews in some countries feel they live in a state of emergency, because of the continuing rise, most notably in Western Europe and North America, in anti-Semitic manifestations," the report says.

"As a result Jews started questioning and doubting their association with places and societies they have lived in for long, sometimes for centuries."

But, despite this, Kantor Center cites some progress. European governments, the report says, are increasingly taking the problem seriously and taking measures.

And more countries have adopted the "working definition of anti-Semitism" elaborated by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance when recording incidents and drawing up policy.


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