FRA survey on discrimination and hate crime against Jews: 66% of respondents consider antisemitism to be a problem in their countries

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) today published its survey of Jewish people’s experiences and perceptions of hate crime, discrimination and antisemitism in the EU. On 8 November, the eve of the anniversary of the anti-Jewish pogroms that took place 75 years ago, it needs to be acknowledged that while Member States have made sustained efforts to combat antisemitism, the phenomenon is still widespread.

The survey covers the UK, France, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, Italy Hungary, and Latvia: around 90% of the estimated Jewish population in the EU. It will enable European politicians to understand Jewish concerns and to better respond to them.

morten kjaerum FRA“Antisemitism is a disturbing example of how prejudice can persist through the centuries, and it has no place in our society today. It is particularly distressing to see that the internet, which should be a tool for communication and dialogue, is being used as an instrument of antisemitic harassment,” said FRA Director Morten Kjaerum. “While many EU governments have made great efforts to combat antisemitism, more targeted measures are needed.”
Key findings:
  • 66% of respondents consider antisemitism to be a major problem in their countries, while 76% said the situation had become more acute over the last five years.
  • 21% of all respondents have experienced an antisemitic incident or incidents involving verbal insult, harassment or a physical attack in the 12 months preceding the survey. 2% of respondents had been victims of an antisemitic physical attack over the previous year.
  • Under-reporting: 76% of victims of antisemitic harassment did not report the most serious incident to the police or any other organisation.
  • Under-recording: limited data-collection mechanisms in many EU Member States mean that antisemitic attacks remain under-recorded.
  • Antisemitism is considered the fourth most-pressing social or political issue across the countries surveyed (report).
  • Three-quarters of respondents consider onlineantisemitism to be a problem
tabel fra 2
The survey also showed significant differences between countries, which frequently demonstrates their differing histories and traditions, and also patterns of immigration in recent decades. For example,
  • In the UK, 9% of respondents said they had often heard the statement “Jews are responsible for the current economic crisis,” while this figure rose to 59% for Hungary.
  • The survey found that while in Latvia only 8% of survey respondents said the Israeli-Arab conflict had a large impact on how safe they felt, the figure rose to 28% for Germany and was as high as 73% in France.
In response to the findings of the survey, FRA has formulated a number of suggestions for decision makers, including:
  • EU Member States need to record Jewish people’s experiences of fundamental rights violations effectively andcomprehensively.
  • Public figures should publically condemn antisemitic statements.
  • The EU and its Member States must work urgently to find effective ways of combating the growing phenomenon of online antisemitism, for example exploring the option of establishing specialised police units that monitor and investigate hate crime on the internet, as well as encouraging reporting of antisemitic web content to the police.
For more details, go to FRA.EUROPA.EU
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