1 in 3 European Union Jews say they avoid Jewish sites out of security fears


(JTA) — In a survey among more than 16,000 Jews living in 12 European countries, a third said they avoid visiting Jewish sites or events because they fear for their safety.

The poll, whose results were published Monday, was conducted online by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. Among the countries surveyed were Belgium, Britain, Germany, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, and Sweden. About 90 percent of the European Union’s Jewish population lives in those countries.

One third of respondents also said they are considering emigrating. And more than one quarter of respondents said that they have been harassed, with those being visibly Jewish most affected.

In Britain, the share of respondents who said anti-Semitism was a “big problem” was 75 percent in 2018. But in a similar survey conducted by the same agency in 2012, only 48 percent said this in the United Kingdom. Similar rises were seen in Germany, to 85 percent from 62 percent, and Sweden, to 82 percent from 60 percent.

“This report demonstrates an increasingly intolerable level of pressure and abuse that Jews feel in Europe today,” Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, said in a statement. “They feel that despite European leaders’ commitment to combating anti-Semitism the situation has not improved, in fact it has deteriorated over the last few years.”

In the 2012 survey, which had a little under 6,000 respondents, only one fifth of respondents said they had experienced an anti-Semitic incident.

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