Austrian watchdog records near doubling of anti-Semitic incidents


(JTA) — Anti-Semitic incidents nearly doubled in Austria last year, a Vienna-based watchdog group said.

The Forum Against Anti-Semitism recorded 255 incidents last year, compared to 137 in 2013, it reported earlier this week.

It was the highest figure recorded since 2008, surpassing the previous record year of 2009 by more than 22 percent, or 55 incidents.

Similar increases have been recorded in Belgium and France during and following Israel’s war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Of the 255 incidents documented in Austria, nine were physical assaults and 57 were cases of vandalism. Threats and insults that occurred on the street or in public spaces numbered 21 and cases of online hate speech deemed by the watchdog to be of a criminal nature totaled 83.

Several thousand Jews live in Austria.

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