Anti-Semitic attacks spiked 13% in 2018 from the previous year, Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry said in a grim assessment in its annual report on Wednesday.
The highest number of anti-Semitic incidents in Western countries were reported in the United States, France, Britain, and Germany. The report said that Islamists, as well as far-right and far-left activists, were behind many of the attacks but also warned that anti-Semitism was going 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 noted.
In a stark warning, the Kantor Centre said, “There is an increasing sense of emergency among Jews in many countries around the world. Antisemitism has recently progressed to the point of calling into question the very continuation of Jewish life in Europe.”
The study cataloged 387 anti-Semitic incidents worldwide, including physical attacks with or without weapons, arson, vandalism, and direct threats against Jews. Attacks against synagogues and other Jewish institutions were included in the overall figure, with over 100 cases occurring in the United States.
“The most disturbing development, that keeps continuing and intensifying since 2016, is that Jews in some countries feel they live in a state of emergency, because of the continuing rise, most notably in Western Europe and North America, in anti-Semitic manifestations,” the study said.
In the United States, the study blamed, among other factors, an increasingly hostile environment toward Jewish students who support Israel on university campuses across the country.
The report also found that Germany experienced rising levels of anti-Semitism, in part due the large influx of immigrants from Muslim countries. The country experienced a 70% increase in violent anti-Semitism, while France saw a 74% increase in anti-Jewish hate.
In Britain, where 68 anti-Semitic attacks were recorded, the study cited what it called “virulent anti-Semitic opinions, disguised as anti-Zionism” expressed by the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. “For the first time in their long history British Jews, who feel they lost their political home, question their future in Britain,” it said.
[Photo: Beny Shlevich / Wikimedia Commons]