22% of hate crimes in Europe in 2019 were against Jews, report shows


(JTA) — Anti-Semitic incidents accounted for 22% of hate crimes recorded last year in the pan-European region, though Jews comprise less than 1% of the population there.

The data on hate crimes comes from a report about 5,954 incidents recorded in Europe, Russia and Central Asia by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, or ODHIR, of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, ODHIR said in its annual report published last week. The report is based on data transmitted by governments and watchdog groups.

Of the total incidents, 1,311 were anti-Semitic, according to the the report titled “2019 Hate Crime Data.”

Anti-Semitism was the category with the second-largest number of incidents after the 2,371 incidents in the more general Racism and Xenophobia category.

Those targeted for their gender or sexual orientation (1,277 cases) made up the third-highest group, followed by Christians (573) and Muslims (507).

In one anti-Semitic incident recorded in the report, a woman had her hair and hat pulled violently from behind while speaking Hebrew on the bus in Berlin, Germany. In another, an Iraqi Muslim man wearing a kippah and carrying several concealed knives was intercepted by guards attempting to enter an Antwerp synagogue in June. The man had used anti-Semitic insults at Jews before the incident.

The report said its figures are not definitive and may in fact be lower than the number of hate crimes committed or recorded in Europe.

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