EU Survey: Every Fifth Jew Victim to anti-Semitism

Survey shows 29% of European Jews considered emigrating due to anti-Semitism.

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A fifth of Jewish respondents in an EU survey said they had experienced an anti-Semitic incident in the past 12 months, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency said Friday.

The survey, to which 5,847 Jews from nine European Union member states responded, was released in full on Friday after parts were released last month.

Morten Kjaerum, the director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, presented the findings at a press conference in Vilnius.

Twenty-nine percent of all respondents said they “seriously considered emigrating” in recent years because they did “not feel safe” living in their countries as Jews. The figure of Jews contemplating emigration was particularly high in Hungary, France and Belgium with 48, 46 and 40 percent respectively.

The Internet was seen as the biggest platform for spreading hate against Jews, with three quarters of respondents saying they had experience anti-Semitism on websites and social platforms. Some 42 per cent of respondents said they had experience verbal abuse at demonstrations, and 14 per cent at sports events.

The survey was conducted in Belgium, Britain, Germany, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia and Sweden. These countries are home to 90 per cent of the Jewish population in the European Union.

On average, 76 percent said anti-Semitism has increased over the past five years.

Four percent of respondents said they had experienced physical attack or threats of violence in the past year because they were Jewish, and 64 percent of respondents who said they had experienced physical attacks also said that they did not report the incidents to the authorities because they considered doing so ineffective.

Asked about their definition of an anti-Semite, 34 percent of all respondents indicated that it applied to “a non-Jewish person if he or she criticizes Israel.” In Sweden, only 21 percent of 703 respondents said non-Jewish critics of Israel were anti-Semitic compared to 42 percent of 1,137 French respondents. Nearly 90 percent of respondents said that people who did not consider Jewish citizens of their country as compatriots were anti-Semitic.

Twenty percent of respondents said they avoided wearing, carrying or displaying things that might help people identify them as Jews in public. That figure was 34 percent in Sweden; 29 percent in France; 20 percent in Hungary and eight percent in Britain.

European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor said the survey was “of great importance,” adding that the fact that “Jews are not able to express their Jewishness because of fear should be a watershed moment for Europe. He called on EU governments to study the survey’s results.

"While many EU governments have made great efforts to combat anti-Semitism, more targeted measures are needed," FRA director Morten Kjaerum said.

Veterans and former deportees display flags at a ceremony to remember victims of racism and anti-Semitism committed by the French state during World War II, in Paris, Sunday, July 18, 2004.Credit: AP

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