Global anti-Semitic Violence Drops but Online Abuse Rises, Report Shows

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Mount Carmel Cemetery, Philadelphia, where hundreds of headstones were damaged earlier this year.
Mount Carmel Cemetery, Philadelphia, where hundreds of headstones were damaged earlier this year.Credit: Jacqueline Larma/AP

A report released by Israeli researchers says violent attacks on Jews dropped for a second straight year in 2016, while other forms of anti-Semitism are on the rise worldwide, particularly on U.S. campuses.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University said Sunday that assaults specifically targeting Jews, vandalism and other violent incidents fell 12 percent last year. They recorded 361 cases compared to 410 in 2015, which had already been the lowest number in a decade.

The data were published Sunday, ahead of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, in the annual “Antisemitism Worldwide” report by the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University.

The report attributed much of the drop to increased security measures in European countries.

However, according to the report, there is a "continuation of the widespread increase, sometimes dramatic, in verbal and visual anti-Semitism on social media and during demonstrations, in insults, harassments and threats hurled at people, that cannot be quantified."

The numbers on violence were not mirrored by a decrease in cases of general anti-Semitism. On U.S. university campuses, there was a 45 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents, mostly insults and harassment of Jewish students, the report says.

Bucking the overall decrease in incidents from 2015 was the recording in 2016 of 1,309 incidents in the United Kingdom alone, constituting a 36 percent increase over the 2015 tally.

In Austria, where approximately 8,000 Jews live, the number of anti-Semitic incidents rose slightly in 2016 to 477 from 465 the previous year – when the figure had jumped by roughly 200, the country’s Forum Against Anti-Semitism said. In France, meanwhile, authorities recorded a 58 percent drop last year in anti-Semitic incidents.

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