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Survey Finds Anti-Semitism 'On The Rise' In Europe

Sat, November 9, 2013 12:33am

Story by Scott Neuman

A counterprotester lifts a homemade sign during a demonstration of the nationalist party in downtown Budapest, Hungary, on May 4.

Two-thirds of Jews surveyed in a European Union study believe that anti-Semitism is "a problem" where they live and three-quarters said they believed that anti-Jewish attitudes had increased in recent years.

The EU's Fundamental Rights Agency sampled opinion from 5,847 Jewish people in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the United Kingdom — which collectively are home to 90 percent of Europe's Jews.

Sixty-six percent of those surveyed said anti-Semitism is a problem and 76 percent believed anti-Semitism had increased over the past five years.

Nearly half (48 percent) of those surveyed in Hungary, 46 percent in France and 40 percent in Belgium said they had considered emigrating over safety concerns.

One in five said he had personally experienced an anti-Semitic verbal insult and/or physical attack.

The BBC reports:

"Perpetrators of the most serious incidents were described as 'being perceived as someone with Muslim extremist views, 27%, left-wing political views, 22%, or with right-wing views, 19%'.

"Respondents said the most frequent comments made by non-Jewish people in the UK were: 'Israelis behave 'like Nazis' towards the Palestinians' and 'Jews exploit Holocaust victimhood for their own purposes' (both 35%).

"In France 52% of the Jewish people surveyed described anti-Semitism as a 'very big problem' in their country, in Hungary the figure was 49%, while in the UK it was much less - 11%.

"The survey showed significant differences between Western and Eastern European countries.

"In Latvia, only 8% said the Israeli-Arab conflict had had a large impact on how safe they felt, but the figure rose to 28% for Germany and was as high as 73% in France."

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