Anti-semitism on the rise: Study finds uptick in violent attacks against Jews worldwide

NEW YORK — Violent, hateful attacks against Jews appear to be on the rise around the world, a new study shows. The report comes following a difficult year in which 13 Jewish people were murdered in anti-Semitic acts of violence, while other violent displays of anti-Semitism were up 13% overall.

The number of assaults, vandalism incidents, and arsons targeting Jews rose from 342 to 387 between 2017 and 2018, according to researchers at Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry.

The center’s annual report on anti-Semitism found that vandalism accounted for most hateful incidents (56%), followed by threats (23%), and weaponless means (14%). At least 138 people were attacked overall, and there were 104 cases of private property damage. Cemeteries and monuments were also commonly targeted.

More than 100 attacks against Jews were recorded in the United States, the most for any country. After the U.S., the United Kingdom had 68 incidents, followed by France and Germany, both with 35. The report does not include figures from the recent attack on the Chabad of Poway synagogue near San Diego, in which one woman was killed and three others — including a rabbi and a young girl — were wounded.

“There is a growing sense that Jewish people in many countries are living in a state of emergency,” says Professor Dina Porat, head of the Kantor Center, in a statement. “Physical insecurity and the questioning of their place in society and in the parties that were once their political homes are more prevalent than ever.”

The Kantor Center produces its report on anti-Semitism and violence against Jews every year. The data is based on surveys conducted by internationally-recognized watchdog groups in dozens of countries, including almost all European Union member states.

“We cannot fight anti-Semitism as if it is just a Jewish problem,” says Adv. Arie Zuckerman, chairman of the Kantor Center Executive Board. “Anti-Semitism is always a moral barometer for the state of the world, for the broader context of widespread racism, and we are sounding a siren.”

The report comes a day after the Anti-Defamation League released a report showing that violent attacks against Jews in the U.S. doubled in 2018.

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