Europe’s Jews facing anti-Semitism unseen ‘since the Second World War’

Jewish communities across Europe are enduring a level of mainstream anti-Semitism “not seen since the Second World War,” the European Jewish Congress has warned.

That chilling message was delivered just hours after Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center Report on Antisemitism Worldwide 2017 was released on Wednesday, which noted that while the number of violent anti-Semitic incidents dropped in 2017 by 9 percent, to 327 cases, all types of incidents—ranging from harassment, vandalism, to assaults—have jumped.

The 105-page report dissects the spread of anti-Semitism in Europe, the post-Soviet region, the US, Canada, Australia, South America and South Africa. It records 327 major incidents of violence, vandalism and desecration in 2017, compared with a peak of 1,118 in 2009 and a low of 78 in 1989, the year the study began.

It found 30 percent of attacks were directed at individuals, 20 percent at cemeteries and memorial sites, and 17 percent at synagogues.

Dr. Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress and the founder of the Kantor Center, which represents democratically elected European Jewish communities throughout Europe, said anti-Semitism is becoming more normalized.

“The general feeling shared by Jews, as individuals and as a community, is that anti-Semitism has entered a new phase, and is widespread in most parts of the world,” he said. “In many parts of Europe, Jewish communities and institutions can only operate under strict security measures. Fences, surveillance and police and military protection have become part of our daily lives.”

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