Israeli researchers have reported that violent attacks on Jews increased significantly last year, with the largest number of Jews killed in anti-Semitic acts in decades, writes the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot. This has led to a “growing concern” among Jewish communities around the world.
Worrying rise in anti-Semitism in the US
In October 2018, 11 Jews were killed in the US at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue: According to Israeli researchers at Tel Aviv University, attacks on Jews increased by 13 % in 2018. Researchers recorded nearly 400 cases worldwide – over a quarter of the violent cases occurred in the United States.
Major increase has occurred in Western Europe
However, the largest increase occurred in Western Europe, where Jews have faced even greater danger and threats. In Germany, there was a 70% increase in anti-Semitic violence.
“There is a growing concern among Jews in many countries around the world,” said Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, an umbrella organization representing Jewish communities across the continent.
Anti-Semitism has become widespread
“It is now clear that anti-Semitism is no longer limited to the extreme left, the extreme right or radical Islamism – it has become widespread and often accepted by society , “he said.
Tel Aviv University’s Office Center for the Study of Modern European Judaism publishes an annual report on Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. This year, the report came days after another shooting attack on a synagogue in Southern California. The attack on the Chabad of Poway synagogue on the last day of Jewish Passover – Pesach, killed one woman and wounded three others, including the rabbi.
Rise in anti-Semitic tone on the Internet and in newspapers
In addition to gunfire, attacks and vandalism, an increase in anti-Semitic tone was also recorded on the Internet and in newspapers. Recently, the American newspaper, The New York Times, published an anti-Semitic cartoon in the international edition of the newspaper. The tech series portrayed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog wearing a dog collar with a Star of David while leading a blind and ragged president, Donald Trump.
The New York Times apologized
The New York Times has since apologized, calling the image “offensive” and promising not to publish such cartoons again. American Jewish groups wrote to the newspaper asking them to “become much more aware of anti-Semitism in the future.”
Anti-Semitism is a Global Problem
“Anti-Semitism has recently developed in such a way as to call into question the continuity of Jewish life in many parts of the world. the second mass shooting in a synagogue in the United States, many parts of the world which were previously considered safe – is it no longer, “- added Kantor.
Anti-Semitism has become part of everyday life
“Anti-Semitism has gradually penetrated public discourse,” he said. “Threats, harassment and insults have become more violent, encouraging even more physical violence against Jews. It is as if almost every taboo regarding Jews, Judaism and Jewish life has been broken.”
Jeremy Corbyn has increased fear among Jews in England
When Jeremy Corbyn became party leader of the Labor Party – it contributed to a growing fear among England’s Jewish community. Critics say Corbyn, a longtime critic of Israel, has long allowed the uncontrolled spread of anti-Jewish prejudice. Corbyn’s supporters have been accused of sharing Holocaust denial and rumors of international Jewish conspiracies in the banking sector on social media. Several members have left the party in protest.
The yellow vests in France cause concern
Similarly, the involvement of anti-Semitic activists in the yellow vest protests in France has raised major concerns in a country where anti-Semitic acts already make up half of All documented hate crimes.
European authorities are waking up
Kantor added that there has been an improvement in cooperation between the Jewish communities and the judicial authorities in Europe, and several European governments have also taken strong steps, including fully adopt the working definition of anti-Semitism as described by the Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (also read our article on the French President, Emmanuel Macron who has agreed to the definition here).
According to Yediot Ahronot, the report also states that there has been a growing awareness of the threat posed by the state authorities responsible for the welfare and security of their Jewish citizens.
Israel Takes Steps in the Right Direction
Israel has also taken steps in the right direction – the country has hosted a global anti-Semitism forum and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial has reported widespread participation in its online course on the origins of anti-Semitism. Netanyahu said after the attack in Southern California that he would convene a special meeting on the growing anti-Semitic attacks worldwide.