(May 1, 2019 / JNS) Violent anti-Semitic attacks rose by 13 percent worldwide in 2018, with the highest number of incidents reported in Western democracies including the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, an annual report revealed.
According to the report published by Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center and the European Jewish Congress, 2018 saw a 13 percent increase in “major violent” anti-Semitic incidents: 387 compared to 342 in 2017.
The report notes that far-right and far-left activists, in addition to Islamists, were behind many of the attacks, though noted that anti-Semitism is also becoming more mainstream.
“Anti-Semitism is no longer an issue confined to the activity of the far-left, far-right and radical Islamists triangle; it has mainstreamed and became an integral part of life,” the report said.
The report found that the most serious anti-Semitic incidents were recorded in the United States, which has the largest Jewish population outside of Israel and saw more than 100 in 2018. This was followed by Western Europe, with the United Kingdom at 68; France and Germany at 35 incidents each; Belgium with 19; and the Netherlands at 15. In Western Europe, the report said that the increases were being driven far-right movements and anti-Semitic sentiment among the growing Muslim populations in those countries.
Notably, the report found that violent incidents targeting Jews were considerably lower in Eastern Europe than the West, with Ukraine the highest at 12. Other notable countries with major incidents include Canada with 20 and Argentina at 11.
The report defined “major violent” incidents related to anti-Semitism as the proven motivation, including vandalism, threats, arson and use of a weapon.
“If I have to summarize in one sentence the situation concerning anti-Semitism in 2018 and the beginning of 2019, I would say it is the increasing sense of emergency among Jews in many countries around the world,” Kantor said at event at Tel Aviv University.
“Anti-Semitism has recently progressed to the point of calling into question the very continuation of Jewish life in many parts of the world. As we saw with the second mass shooting of a synagogue in the U.S., many parts of the world that were previously regarded as safe no longer are,” he said.
“Additionally, as we recently witnessed with the disgraceful cartoon in The New York Times, anti-Semitism has entered gradually into the public discourse. Threats, harassments and insults have become more violent, inciting to even more physical violence against Jews. It feels like almost every taboo relating to Jews, Judaism and Jewish life has been broken.”