JERUSALEM (JTA) — Acts of anti-Semitism are “growing in their intensity and cruelty,” according to an annual global anti-Semitism survey.
There were 554 reported violent anti-Semitic acts worldwide in 2013 — a 19 percent drop from 2012, which had an “exceptionally sharp rise” in incidents, the report said. The 2013 figure was near the annual average of 550 cases over the past decade, a level that is high compared to the preceding decade, according to the report.
The findings were released Sunday, on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, by The Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry and the Moshe Kantor database for the Study of Contemporary anti-Semitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University, in cooperation with the European Jewish Congress.
“Antisemitism continued to infiltrate into the mainstream from the extreme left and right fringes, and its manifestations are no longer incidental, but rather have become an almost daily phenomenon,” according to the report.
France had the most attacks for the second year in a row with 116. Canada and the United Kingdom both saw a rise in incidents, with 95 in the United Kingdom in 2013 compared to 84 the previous year, and 83 in Canada compared to 74. Germany had 36 incidents. Ukraine 23, Russia 15 and Hungary 14.
The violent acts were perpetrated with and without weapons, by arson, vandalism or direct threats against Jewish individuals or institutions such as synagogues, community centers, schools, cemeteries, monuments and private property.
According to the report, the number of direct attacks against individuals are “steadily increasing” — slightly more than one-third of the targets were individuals.
“Jews do not feel safe or secure in certain communities in Europe,” the president of the European Jewish Congress, Dr. Moshe Kantor, said Sunday at Tel Aviv University. “Normative Jewish life in Europe is unsustainable if such huge numbers of European Jews are forced to live in fear and insecurity. European governments must be pressed to address this issue with utmost urgency.”
One incident cited not in Europe but in Argentina occurred on Oct. 7, when a 13-year-old Israeli-born boy was attacked by two children who mocked his accent. When the victim told them he was Jewish, they beat him with a stick and threw a brick at his face, breaking his nose.
Vandalism represented nearly two-thirds of the incidents, with 333. There were also 25 attacks with weapons (4 percent), 98 cases of weaponless violence (18 percent), nine cases of arsons (2 percent) and 89 direct threats (16 percent).