Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, Tel Aviv University
Antisemitism Worldwide 2014
The year 2014 has been one of the worst years in the last decade, 2004-2014, in fact, it was the second worst year after 2009. Troubling and even alarming reports kept coming in from many countries, especially from Western Europe and North America, monitoring hundreds and sometimes over a thousand antisemitic manifestations and incidents of various types per country. The tendencies that characterized this difficult year, in which violent, verbal and visual expressions of antisemitism abounded, continued in the beginning of 2015, with increasing murderous and other attacks.
The overall feeling among many Jewish people is one of living in an intensifying anti- Jewish environment that has become not only insulting and threatening, but outright dangerous, and that they are facing an explosion of hatred towards them as individuals, their communities, and Israel, as a Jewish state. Comparisons to the 1930s are rampant, because Jews realized, especially in Europe that there are no more taboos and restrictions when it comes to antisemitic manifestations, and certainly no proportion between the unfolding events and the actual number of Jews in their respective communities and their real impact on the societies they live in; or between the intensive debate on Israel's role in the Middle East and the lack of such a debate when it comes to other Middle Eastern conflicts. Jewish community leaders and heads of organizations feel that they are put to test, because of the question hovering over the heads of the Jewish communities: What future is there for communities and individuals, especially in Europe. The issue is not only a matter of having more security means provided by the respective states, but rather of the ability to lead full Jewish life in Europe, especially under heavy police and even army protection, and the necessity to add self-defense to the communities' agenda.
During 2014 the Kantor Center registered 766 violent antisemitic acts perpetrated with or without weapons and by arson, vandalism or direct threats against Jewish persons or institutions such as synagogues, community centers, schools, cemeteries and monuments as well as private property. These 766 cases mark a sharp increase of 38% compared to 2013, in which 554 violent incidents were registered. In this regard 2014 has been the second worst year of the decade, coming next after 2009, with an increase of about 40% higher than the average numbers registered between the years 2004-2014.
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