Social Issues

Anti-Semitism rises in US, especially among Haredis, falls in Europe

Jerusalem, Apr 17 (EFE).- Last year there was a “sharp increase” in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States, especially among ultra-Orthodox Jews, but it decreased in several European countries, according to a report published Monday for Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“It is alarming to see the significant increase in anti-Semitic incidents and trends in the US and other countries,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, executive director of the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish organization that collected figures for this year’s Report on Anti-Semitism in the World.

Some 3,697 anti-Semitic incidents were recorded in the US last year, compared with 2,717 in 2021, according to the report released Monday by Tel Aviv University’s Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jews.

The New York Police Department – the city that recorded the most assaults in that country – recorded 261 hate crimes against Jews compared to 214 in 2021.

Although anti-Semitism has generally decreased in Europe, there are countries where such incidents have also increased, such as Belgium, Hungary, Italy and Australia.

Physical attacks on Jews, mostly unpremeditated, tend to occur on the street or on public transportation, near or in synagogues in urban centers, according to the report.

“Haredi Jews are the main victims, not only because they are easily identifiable as Jews, but because they are perceived as vulnerable and unlikely to fight back,” the report said.

“It was very disturbing to discover during fieldwork in London (which saw the highest number of attacks in Europe) that some Haredis regard anti-Semitism as the inescapable fate of Jews in the Diaspora, sometimes even blaming members of their own communities because of the situation,” said Carl Yonker, who led the investigation.

In addition to the social tensions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the negative reactions to Israel’s military operations in the occupied Palestinian territories, the rise in anti-Semitism in the US can be explained by the spread of anti-Semitic propaganda by part of white supremacists, which tripled with 852 incidents.

Other factors may be the rise of radicalism, both on the right and on the left, and the proliferation of conspiracy theories on social media.

Israel was not exempt from hate crimes, particularly from Jewish supremacist parliamentarians against other ethnic groups, especially Arabs, an aspect that this report includes for the first time.

“In recent months, several Jewish lawmakers have made chilling racist comments that in any other Western country would have ended their careers. It’s sad to say this on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, but Jewish racism is no better than other kinds of racism. It must be condemned, banned and eradicated,” said Uriya Shavit, director of the Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jews.

In contrast to the US, antisemitism declined in other countries, including Germany, Austria, France, the United Kingdom, Canada and Argentina. A total of 2,649 “political crimes with an anti-Semitic background” were registered in Germany, less than the record of 3,028 reached in 2021, according to the study.

In Russia, there are worrying anti-Semitic comments by officials and intellectuals close to President Vladimir Putin, as well as a “cynical distortion of Holocaust memory by the regime,” according to the analysis, published on Holocaust Remembrance Day 2023.

This day, “Yom HaShoah” in Hebrew, is celebrated in Israel on the 27th of the Hebrew month of Nisan, between the months of March and April of the Gregorian calendar, which in 2023 occurs between the sunsets of Apr. 17 and Apr. 18.

The event will take place Monday night at the Jerusalem Holocaust Museum Yad Vashem, with the presence of Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as several Holocaust survivors who will recite and light torches. EFE


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