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European Jews feel safer in eastern continent than west, as anti-Semitism grows

According to the survey, 76 percent of respondents said they have not made plans in the past five years to emigrate due to anti-Jewish vitriol, while just 19 percent said otherwise.

Thousands gather outside of Parliament in London to protest anti-Semitism in the British Labour Party, Sept. 3, 2018. Credit: Labour Against Anti-Semitism via Twitter.
Thousands gather outside of Parliament in London to protest anti-Semitism in the British Labour Party, Sept. 3, 2018. Credit: Labour Against Anti-Semitism via Twitter.

Despite increasing anti-Semitism, European Jews, who feel safer in the eastern than western part of the continent, have no plans to emigrate anytime soon, according to a survey taken for the fourth time by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s International Center for Community Development, which closely analyzes European Jewry.

According to the survey, 76 percent of respondents said they have not made plans in the past five years to emigrate due to anti-Jewish vitriol, while just 19 percent said otherwise.

At the same time, 63 percent of respondents said they felt “rather safe,” 20 percent “very safe,” 13 percent “rather unsafe” and 4 percent “not safe at all.”

Additionally, 96 percent of Eastern European Jewish respondents said they felt safer compared to 76 percent of Western European Jewish respondents.

However, 66 percent of respondents answered that they expect anti-Semitism to worsen in the next decade, though 73 percent are satisfied with their government’s response to security issues in Jewish communities.

Moreover, 83 percent of respondents concurred that all Jews have an obligation to support Israel, and 85 percent said that Jewish communities should provide opportunities for members to give diverse opinions regarding Israel and its policies.

Finally, the survey revealed that intermarriage is no longer seen as an issue in European Jewish communities, as that rate decreased to 40 percent in 2018 from 44 percent in 2015, and 64 percent in 2008—years when this survey was administered.

The survey sample consisted of 893 respondents from 29 countries polled in 10 languages. They included those under age of 40 and over 55, ranging from secular to Orthodox, and were divided between 416 men and 217 women.

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