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Anti-Semitism and harassment of Jews worldwide has reached a seven-year high, a Pew study finds.

 

Social hostilities around the world involving religion declined somewhat in 2013 after reaching a six-year peak the previous year, a Pew study finds. However, this has not been the case for world Jewry.

Harassment of Jews worldwide has reached a seven-year peak. In recent years there has been a marked increase in the number of countries where Jews are harassed, the Pew Research Center’s latest annual study on global restrictions on religion shows.

In 2013, harassment of Jews, either by government or social groups, was found in 77 countries (39%) – a seven-year high. Jews are much more likely to be harassed by individuals or groups in society than by governments.

In Europe, for example, Jews were attacked by individuals or social groups in 34 of the region’s 45 countries (76%), a higher percentage than in any other region. In the rest of the world, Jews were abused by individuals or groups in society in 25% of countries.

The Pew report details several incidents in support of its findings.

In France, three men attacked a teenager who was wearing a kippah (religious head-covering) in Vitry-Sur-Seine in March, threatening, “We will kill all of you Jews.” In Spain, vandals painted a large swastika on the walls of a bull ring in the city of Pinto in August, along with the words “Hitler was right.” In the town of Komarno in southern Slovakia, metal tiles embedded in the pavement honoring a local Jewish family killed in the Holocaust were destroyed in October when vandals poured tar over them. Finally, in Norway, the newspaper Dagbladet published a controversial cartoon in May that appeared to be mocking the practice of circumcision.

The Social Hostilities Index (SHI), which includes 13 measures of social aggression, monitors and documents acts of religious harassment by private individuals, organizations or groups in society. This includes religion-related armed conflict and terrorism, mob and sectarian violence, harassment over attire for religious reasons and any other religion-related intimidation or abuse.

Anti-Semitism No Longer Hidden

Pew’s findings are in tandem with other similar reports recently produced.

The Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism (CFCA), an Israeli-based organ that monitors anti-Semitic activity around the world and coordinates the struggle against this phenomenon with various government bodies and Jewish organizations,  published a report in January on trends in global anti-Semitism during 2014.

The report shows that 2014 was marked by an alarming rise in anti-Semitic incidents, acts of terrorism and attempted attacks against Jewish targets, perpetrated primarily by Islamic terrorists or the radical right.

“Until recently, anti-Semitism was largely half-hidden and anonymous. Today, anti-Semitism is neither hidden nor anonymous. Today, anti-Semites can lift their heads openly and sell their wares in the streets,” the report states.

Germany, France and the United Kingdom have all declared war on anti-Semitism in their countries.

This trend has affected aliyah (immigration to Israel) dramatically, reaching a five-year peak over the past year, according to data compiled by the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption (MAIA).

For the full Pew report, click HERE.

By: Aryeh Savir
Staff Writer, United with Israel