Anti-Semitism Persists in Europe; U.S. Statistics Remain Encouraging

In a letter to Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, Israel’s Chief Rabbis called for the creation of a task force to study the proliferation of anti-Semitism in Europe, and to develop a plan to reduce anti-Jewish violence. The call from Rabbi Yona Metzger and Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar comes on the heels of a recent attack on a Jewish student visiting Italy, which shed light on the rising rates of anti-Semitism in Europe.

Oskar Deutsch, who leads Vienna’s Jewish community, told Austrian media that the number of anti-Semitic attacks in his community doubled in 2011, a rise that he suggested was symptomatic of a general rise in Europeans’ hostility to Jews.

A 2012 report by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) tells a similar story. According to the report, for example, 24% of the French surveyed espoused anti-Semitic viewpoints. France is no stranger to anti-Semitism, most notably demonstrated through the horrific attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse.

RACblog recently reported on the statements of Hungarian Member of Parliament Marton Gyongyosi, who called for the registration of all of Hungary’s Jews. The Hungarian parliament just passed a resolution that subjects politicians who similarly use hate speech in parliament to fines and physical removal from government premises.

Rising rates of anti-Semitism in Europe contrast with more positive news in the United States. With 1,080 reported anti-Semitic incidents in 2011, the rate of anti-Semitism in the U.S. dropped by 13% from 2010. According to the ADL, this represents a 20 year low in incidents of U.S. anti-Semitism. Despite such optimism, more than 1,000 hateful acts directed towards the American Jewish community should echo Europe’s cause for concern.

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