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Troubling Stats Released About European Anti-Semitism

A new survey finds that 22% of European Jews hide their identity for fear of prejudice and discrimination

By: Zak Edwards
Published: October 17th, 2013 in News » World

A survey conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights has released some disturbing statistics that support a rising anti-Semitism in Europe, reports the Times of Israel.

A survey of 5,100 Jewish Europeans in nine countries revealed that fear of prejudice and even violence is affecting the daily lives of Jewish communities, who are taking to hiding their heritage.

49% of Swedish respondents and 40% of French respondents admitted that they avoid public displays that would mark them as Jewish, such as wearing a kippah, for fear of anti-Semitism. Furthermore, 22% of all those questioned admit they avoid Jewish festivals and gatherings for fear of experiencing an anti-Semitic incident. And these fears are not without warrant: 30% of Hungarians and 21% of French Jews have said they have experienced anti-Semitism firsthand in the past 12 months. Of these incidents, only 22% were reportedly by Muslims, quieting certain prejudices against the Muslim community, who are often blamed as the source of most of this violence.

Instead, a disturbing 75% of Jewish victims admit that they don’t even bother to report these incidents (64% for physical assaults) because they think it is not worth the effort. Such a statistic is indicative of larger structural issues, in which law enforcement is perceived to themselves be either indifferent or unsupportive of a community in need of defence and protection.

It seems Gert Weisskirchen agrees that Europe is experiencing an increase in anti-Semitism. "The results show that a majority of European Jews are experiencing a rise in anti-Semitism," the former representative of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe for Fighting anti-Semitism, said at a conference in Kiev. Certainly Jewish communities in Europe are arguing that such a reality exists, and Amazon is not helping the issue.

Of course, these sentiments are not exactly a European phenomenon. The Quebec government is attempting to institutionalize a ban on displays of faith for their public employees (politicians themselves are, of course, exempt from such a law). The survey in Europe, which has only released these preliminary results, will be published in full next month.

Related articles: anti-Semitism, Jewish News, Europe Jews, Survey, World News
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