Jun 29, 2022
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Antisemitic graffiti in Klaipėda, Lithuania. (Photo: Beny Shlevich/ Wiki Commons)

Antisemitic graffiti in Klaipėda, Lithuania. (Photo: Beny Shlevich/ Wiki Commons)

According to a report released by the Moshe Kantor Database for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University, current trends in antisemitism are worrisome.  Although the overall number of incidents was down in 2013 as compared to the year before, this was due mainly to a spike in 2012, rather than an actual improvement in the worldwide situation.

Some 554 violent incidents were reported in 2013, including attacks “with weapons or without, by arson, vandalism or direct threats against Jewish persons or institutions such as synagogues, community centers, schools, cemeteries, monuments as well as private property.”

However, in a survey by the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), a research branch of the European Union (EU), published in November 2013, a staggering 77% of Jews admitted they would not even report antisemitic experiences to authorities.  The TAU report suggests, therefore, that the actual number of incidents is much higher.

“The major conclusion of research conducted by the Kantor Center team and supported by both community reports and independent surveys by non-Jewish sources, is that the anxiety felt by Jews, both as individuals and as communities, originates in the growing intensity of and increase in insults, abusive language and behavior, threats and harassments, and not necessarily in an increase in the number of violent incidents,” the report says.

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Among all registered cases worldwide there were 25 attacks with weapons, 98 cases of weaponless violence, 9 cases of arson, 89 direct threats, and 333 incidents of vandalism. The targets of such incidents were 185 persons, 67 synagogues, 52 community centers and schools, 90 cemeteries and memorial sites, and 160 private properties.

The Kantor Center concluded that the current rate of anti-Semitism cannot be attributed to a specific cause or trigger, such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, since no such major incident took place.  Rather, the world is witnessing what the authors of the report called “net anti-Semitism”, or an overall “escalation in anti-Jewish atmosphere” which has manifested in an “almost daily phenomenon.”

Other than 2012, which saw 686 registered violent incidents, the annual average of reported anti-Semitic incidents for the past decade was 550.  The previous decade (1994-2004) saw only 150-200 reported incidents per year.  The number of direct attacks against individuals has also risen steadily over the years, mostly perpetrated at random either without weapons or with whatever the attacker found at hand.

Some examples of the virulently growing anti-Semitic environment include the widespread use of the “quenelle” salute, especially in and around Jewish sites, campaigns to ban or denigrate circumcision and kosher slaughter, and the increasing popularity of the BDS movement.