Spike in Number of Jews Murdered Worldwide, Report Finds

Report by Kantor Center at Tel Aviv University and European Jewish Congress also finds rise in violent anti-Semitic attacks including assault, vandalism and arson in 2018

Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet
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Two people hug as another talks to a San Diego County Sheriff's deputy outside of the Chabad of Poway Synagogue Saturday, California, April 27, 2019.
Two people hug as another talks to a San Diego County Sheriff's deputy outside of the Chabad of Poway Synagogue Saturday, California, April 27, 2019.Credit: Denis Poroy/AP
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet

More Jews were murdered in anti-Semiitc attacks around the world in 2018 than in any other year over the past several decades, according to a report published Wednesday by Tel Aviv University's Kantor Center.

The report, compiled together with the European Jewish Congress, also found a rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents defined by the Kantor Center as violent and severe – 387 in 2018 – a 13 percent rise compared to the previous year.

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Haaretz Weekly Ep. 25Credit: Haaretz

The violent incidents counted in the report include vandalism, threats, arson and use of a weapon. At least 138 people were attacked for anti-Semitic motives in 2018 worldwide. There were also 104 reported cases of damage to private property.

"Anti-Semitism peaked recently in a manner that casts doubt on the very existence of Jews in many parts of the world," Dr. Moshe Kantor, president of the Jewish European Congress, was quoted as saying in a press release.

"As we have seen following the second mass shooting incident at a U.S. synagogue, many parts of the world are no longer safe for Jews as we thought they were in the past," he noted. Kantor also added that there is an increasing sense of "emergency among Jews in many countries."

A makeshift memorial a block away from the Chabad synagogue in Poway, north of San Diego, where a gunman opened fire killing one congregant and injuring others. April 27, 2019Credit: \ JOHN GASTALDO/ REUTERS

According to the report, the situation is at its worst in Western European countries, especially in Germany, where an uptick of 70 percent in violent, anti-Semitic incidents was recorded. The country with the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents that were defined as severe is the United States, which, with a Jewish population of 5,700,000 Jews, is home to the largest Jewish population in the world after Israel.

More than 100 serious anti-Semitic incidents took place in the United States in 2018, the report states. Following the United States on the list of serious incidents is the United Kingdom (with 68 incidents reported in 2018), France and Germany (with 35 incidents each) and Canada (20 incidents).

In Eastern Europe, the number of violent incidents targeting Jews was considerably lower than in the Western portion of the continent. It was limited to a few incidents reported in each Eastern European country (except for Ukraine, where 12 such incidents were reported).

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