Nearly a third of Jews in 12 EU countries surveyed have experienced antisemitic harassment, 76% of respondents said they had heard comments that Jews have too much power in their country
Antisemitism pervades the public sphere inside the European Union, antisemitic incidents are on the rise, and Jews fear antisemitic hate speech, harassment and even being recognized as Jewish a new EU report published on Monday concluded.
Some 89% of respondents believe that antisemitism has increased over the past five years in the country they live in, while 88% said that antisemitism online has increased over the past five years and 89% said that it was a problem in their country.
The study, conducted across 12 EU Member States and surveying almost 16,500 individuals, found that more than one quarter (28%) of respondents experienced a form of antisemitic harassment at least once in the 12 months preceding the survey, and over one third (39 %) did so in the five years before the survey.
Another 3% of respondents said they had personally experienced a physical attack because they are Jewish in the five years before the survey, and 2% said they had experienced a physical antisemitic attack over the last 12 months before the survey.
In addition, 76% of respondents had heard or read a comment that Jews have too much power in their country; 59% had experienced comments that the interests of Jews in their country were different from rest of the population; and 72% that Jews bring antisemitism upon themselves.
Of the respondents who said they had experienced antisemitic verbal or physical attacks, some 30% of them identified “Muslims with extremist views” as the perpetrators, the highest category of identifiable perpetrators.
Another 21% of respondents said people with left-wing political views committed the offense, and 13% said their incident came from someone with right-wing political views.
According to the report, 20% of respondents in Germany said that they thought the antisemitic incident they had experienced was committed by someone with right-wing views.
Despite this perception, the German Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Anti-Semitism has stated that over 90% of antisemitic crimes in Germany in 2017 were perpetrated by far-right individuals.
“Decades after the Holocaust, shocking and mounting levels of antisemitism continue to plague the EU,” said the director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, which commissioned the study, Michael O’Flaherty.
“Member States must take note and step up their efforts to prevent and combat antisemitism. Jewish people have a right to live freely, without hate and without fear for their safety.”
The European Jewish Congress expressed considerable concern over the findings, and that the report should be seen as a warning to European countries and leaders to take action.
“This report demonstrates an increasingly intolerable level of pressure and abuse that Jews feel in Europe today,” said Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the EJC.
“They feel that despite European leaders’ commitment to combating antisemitism the situation has not improved, in fact it has deteriorated over the last few years. This report should be seen by leaders in Europe as a final warning that words are not enough, and now is a time for action.”