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Anti-Semitism in the world in 2013 penetrates from the extreme fringes on the right and left to the center

This is according to a report published by the Unit for the Study of Tolerance and Intolerance in the Middle East named after Ze'ev Vard, and the Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism and Racism in Modern Times named after Stefan Roth at Tel Aviv University

Demonstration near a synagogue in Oklahoma City, 2009. Photo: Samuel Perry /
Demonstration near a synagogue in Oklahoma City, 2009. Photo:Samuel Perry /

The year 2013 was one of the most difficult years in the last decade, because anti-Semitism penetrates more and more from the extreme fringes on the right and left into the center of society, and anti-Semitic incidents have practically become a daily phenomenon. During the year, many disturbing reports from around the world, especially from Europe and North America, which reached many hundreds in each country, about anti-Semitic events of all kinds, accumulated and continued. Reactions of Jews also indicate a general feeling that the anti-Jewish atmosphere has intensified and intensified, towards individuals and communities alike.

The main conclusion we reached in our research and after examining reports from communities and material from independent non-Jewish sources and surveys, is that the growing feeling of Jews, which indeed shows an upward and worsening trend, originates mainly from the severity of the verbal and visual expressions, the insults, the bullying and the threats that create an increasingly burdensome atmosphere, and Precisely in the number of violent incidents, and this despite the fact that they have increased or worsened in several countries. Furthermore, Jews do not report the majority of anti-Semitic incidents, and it can be assumed that the situation is worse, if so, than communities and independent monitoring bodies describe it.

In 2013, 554 violent anti-Semitic incidents were recorded, carried out with or without the use of weapons, arson, vandalism and direct threats against people, synagogues, community centers, schools, cemeteries, monuments and private property. Compared to the year 2012, when there was a particularly sharp increase in the number of violent incidents which numbered 686, in 2013 there was a 19% decrease in these cases. This is still a relatively high number, certainly compared to the previous decade, 1994-2004, when the number of violent incidents was 200-150 per year in the world. Also, the number of violent incidents decreased in 2013 relative to an exceptional year but not relative to an average year in the last decade, 2014-2004. It should be noted that the number of direct attacks on people is constantly increasing: in the United States, for example, their rate has increased relative to other types of violence. Most of them are carried out randomly without a weapon or using an occasional tool.

Our findings indicate the following data: 25 attacks with weapons (4%), 98 cases of violence without weapons (18%), 9 cases of arson (2%), 89 cases of direct threats (16%) and 333 cases of vandalism (60%) . The attacks targeted 185 people (34%), 67 synagogues (12%), 52 community centers and schools (9%), 90 cemeteries and memorial sites (16%), and 160 private properties (29%). The highest number of incidents comes from France - 116, compared to 200 in 2012 following the murders in Toulouse, and 114 in 2011. There was an increase in cases of violence in Great Britain: 95 cases compared to 84 in 2012, as well as in Canada: 83 compared to 74; in Germany: 36 versus 23; in Ukraine 23 compared to 15; in Russia: 15 versus 11; and in Hungary 14 compared to 12. In Poland and Italy there was a decrease in the cases of violence, as well as in the USA, from 99 cases to 55. In Australia, too, the number of violent cases decreased to 17 compared to 53 in 2012, but the overall number of incidents there increased by 21% to 657, and this is the second highest number since the registration of incidents began there. In Canada, the number of incidents has tripled in the last decade, and in France, the number has increased sevenfold since 2000.

The numbers of anti-Semitic incidents must be understood in comparison to the vulnerability of other minorities as well. One could assume that the number of violent incidents would be proportional to the number of Jews in the various communities. For example, in Great Britain, many thousands of incidents against a background of racism and xenophobia are registered every year, and the rate of harm to Jews is therefore low, but in France, for example, where Jews make up 40 percent of the population, 2013% of the racist attacks in XNUMX were aimed at them.

A phenomenon that spread rapidly in the last weeks of 2013 from France to other countries in Europe and the world, and illustrates the power of social networks in spreading hatred, is the "upside-down hand" phenomenon. The Nazi raised hand, the "Zig Heil", was replaced by a new version of the salute in an inverted hand movement called QUENELLE, from the creator of the controversial French entertainer, DIEUDONNE, (which mainly consists of a simple right hand firmly downwards, and the left hand is placed in the direction of the right shoulder, with the fingers tensed. This salute immediately spread on the network with hundreds of thousands of "likes", group photos and in actual practice. It is done defiantly, near Jewish sites such as synagogues, cemeteries, street signs in Jewish neighborhoods, especially near memorial sites and memorials to the Holocaust, and even in front of the well-known entrance gate to Auschwitz , by mainly young people, most of whom probably do not belong to identified organizations, but it can be a kind of ID card for the members of extreme right-wing organizations and their supporters.

At the beginning of November 2013, the FRA (FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AGENCY), an agency that is the research arm of the European Union on human rights issues, published a comprehensive survey, which concerned the reactions and feelings of Jews in the eight member states of the European Union in relation to anti-Semitism. The survey encompassed nearly 6000 Jews, in countries where about a million Jews live, which make up 90 percent of all European Jewry: Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and Great Britain. The picture that emerges from it is very worrying: the vast majority - 77% - do not report to any organization, Jewish or local, about anti-Semitic events they experience. About 23% do not participate in events or go to Jewish institutions lest they be harmed on the way, 38% do not leave the house with identifying marks such as a kippa or Star of David. 33% of the respondents fear falling victim to an anti-Semitic attack, and an average of 29% are considering immigrating from their country. 66% of respondents see anti-Semitism as a problem that affects their lives, and 76% stated that anti-Semitism has worsened over the past five years.

About a quarter of the participants in the survey experienced during the previous year an incident that also included a verbal insult, and almost half are worried about the possibility that they will fall victim to insult or harassment in the next year. In Belgium, 88% reported an increase in anti-Semitism, and in Hungary and France the reports are even higher. In Sweden, Italy and Germany the situation is slightly less severe, as is the case in Great Britain and Latvia. In Hungary, 80% of the respondents believed that the source of the evil is the extreme right; Over 60% voted in Italy for the left; 73% in France and 60% in Belgium blamed radical Muslims, and anti-Semitism from Christian sources was last on the list.

A few weeks after the publication of the survey, the same agency, the FRA, removed from its website the working definition of antisemitism that had been in international use since the beginning of 2005. The official reason given for this is that this definition never became a binding document of the European Union, and was removed from The site at the time inspected a house held in it, along with other NON PAPERS, a nickname for unofficial documents intended as a platform for discussion. This wording can be accepted as an insult to the definition, which was formulated in a joint effort by researchers and organizations, including from the European Union, and was considered an international achievement, because it provided an effective tool for identifying and punishing anti-Semitism and other racist incidents by law enforcement authorities.

In this definition there are several clauses that identify anti-Zionism and attitudes towards the State of Israel as anti-Semitism in certain cases and especially when Israel is compared to Nazi Germany and when it is discriminated against (see appendix). In recent years, these sections have received sharp criticism, and the definition has been placed at the center of court hearings in England and the USA, during which clear anti-Zionist views have been expressed. Apparently there is no connection between the removal of the definition and the anti-Zionist and anti-Israel rant that is also growing stronger, mainly in the West, at the same time as the anti-Semitic atmosphere worsens, and it is expressed in anti-Semitic expressions. But this step meant legitimizing negative views towards Israel and its supporters among the Jews in the Diaspora, even if it originated, as explained, for technical reasons.
We, the team of researchers at the Kantor Center recommend continuing to distribute the definition as it is and use it as before.

In 2013, demands were heard in various countries that had begun to rise the year before, to prohibit the slaughter of kashshara and circumcision, and they were seen as an attempt to push Jews out of their places of residence, since it is impossible to continue a Jewish life without circumcision - kosher meat can be imported. Animal welfare organizations claimed that the slaughtering process was not humane enough, and it was even compared to the Holocaust, and organizations for the protection of children's rights claimed that a person can only be slaughtered with his consent, and that the practice causes harm to babies. Such views are an expression of political correctness and the struggle for a just and reformed society, but at the same time they say that these Jewish customs are cruel and inconsiderate of the weak, that they were created thousands of years ago and since then the Jews have not yet adapted themselves to the modern world. Anti-Semites and Islamophobes were not slow to get caught up in these arguments that reinforce racist stereotypes, and to accuse Jews and Muslims alike of cruelly harming children and animals.

Everything that was written in last year's trends report, the year 2012, about the power of the Internet and especially the power of social networks in spreading hatred, pales in comparison to its distribution and accessibility during the past year, and compared to its increasing ability to cause events by mobilizing crowds easily and quickly in the public-political arena, and making it to the media that touches the lives, and even manages the lives, of hundreds of millions of people. A record 90% of the respondents in the FRA survey encountered anti-Semitic activity in Mashret. About 75% responded that they see online anti-Semitism, the one they encounter in YouTube videos, social networks, chats and blogs, as a problem that exists and is increasing in their country. The younger the recipients, the more strongly they feel the harm, because today the self-image of youth is determined in these frameworks. The social and general networks also continue and spread conspiracy theories, which are really delusional, regarding the Jews.

The past year has been characterized by a series of violent conflicts within and between the Arab and Muslim countries in the Middle East, with and without connection to the "Arab Spring": one would have expected that anti-Zionism would decrease, and first of all in Western countries, because there is no proportion between what is happening in the Middle East in general, with such dire results , and the results and nature of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. However, the material collected, mainly from Western countries and less from Eastern Europe, does not indicate a reduction in propaganda and anti-Zionist expressions. On the contrary: it is possible to define today the anti-Zionism prevalent mainly on the left, which has already become part of the permanent world view of individuals and groups within it, as a cultural code, which allows those who spread it to deny that it is expressed in anti-Semitic tones. Today this denial is called by researchers the denial of antisemitism, ANTISEMITISM DENIAL, for the weight of Holocaust denial.

And two final conclusions: one, in most Western countries there is a growing gap between the official policy that promotes Holocaust commemoration events, condemnation of anti-Semitism and legislation against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, and the popular voice that is expressed in daily life, and is also amplified in discussions about the slaughter, training and circumcision for example, or When the question of returning the Jewish property looted by the Nazis comes up on the agenda. Still, gross anti-Semitism publicly expressed by officials is still not acceptable. A large number of politicians, leaders and government officials (at least 15 cases were counted during 2013) who expressed anti-Semitic views and insulting phrases were fired or forced to resign.

Another conclusion emerges prominently: anti-Zionism, which is growing in the West, does not provide a full explanation for the rise of anti-Semitism today. The rise of far-right parties, each of which has a broader agenda, is not an explanation either, and the economic crisis that has continued since 2008 is not a novelty. During 2013, there was no event related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that ignited a wave of anti-Semitism, nor a case of murder that resulted in a wave of fans as happened after the murder in Toulouse in March 2012. The fact that during the last decade the number of violent events is higher than in the previous decade, and is not decreasing Below a certain number can indicate that the anti-Semitic phenomenon today does not depend on external events. From all of this it appears that in 2013 we are witnessing anti-Semitism for its own sake, net anti-Semitism.

We cannot conclude without strongly protesting recent events in Israel: vandalism against holy places for non-Jews, Christians or Muslims, damage to their property, swastikas and abusive language on the walls of their homes cannot be distinguished from similar attacks against Jews abroad. We demand legislation, enforcement and punishment of such acts, here as there.

4 תגובות

  1. Point, I live in Nikhar.
    In my experience, anti-Semitism is part of culture. A kind of momentum of 2000 years that, although it is commonly thought, has stopped. Common sense will disagree with this decision if you only give it a chance. Did he have a reason 2000 years ago and more, absolutely. Some of the reasons are also arbitrary today for certain genders I am convinced. But the people from whom I actually happened to see manifestations of anti-Semitism (not just towards me in general) do not respond to any of these populations, the manifestation of this anti-Semitism was a conditioned reflex spring in cases of stress, and I am sure that none of them mean me any harm because I am Jewish (don't try to understand , ingrained hatred is not rational).

  2. The left-wing media is hostile to the government and Israel, gives Israel and Jews a bad name in the world, makes a considerable contribution to the rise of anti-Semitism.

  3. I do not believe that anti-Semitism arose for her just like that. The reasons for anti-Semitism should have been addressed in the research.
    And that they didn't treat it seriously says Darshani.

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