EJC: The FRA report on Experiences of Antisemitism Should be a Final Warning for Authorities to Act

The European Jewish Congress (EJC) expresses deep concern over the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) report ‘Experiences and Perceptions of Antisemitism – Second survey on discrimination and hate crime against Jews in the EU’. The report outlines the findings of a major repeat survey into how Jews experience antisemitism across 12 EU Member States, the largest ever of its kind worldwide.

The report points to rising levels of antisemitism:

  • About 90% of respondents feel that antisemitism is growing in their country.
  • Around 90% also feel it is particularly problematic online,
  • And some 70% cite public spaces, the media and politics as common sources of antisemitism,
  • Almost 30% have been harassed, with those being visibly Jewish most affected.

“This report demonstrates an increasingly intolerable level of pressure and abuse that Jews feel in Europe today,” Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the EJC, said. “They feel that despite European leaders’ commitment to combatting antisemitism the situation has not improved, in fact it has deteriorated over the last few years.”

“This report should be seen by leaders in Europe as a final warning that words are not enough, and now is a time for action. We are therefore grateful to First Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans and Commissioner for Justice Věra Jourová, who were the political forces behind this comprehensive survey.”

The FRA report shows that antisemitism appears to be so deep-rooted in society that regular harassment has become part of normal everyday life. Almost 80% do not report serious incidents to the police or any other body. Often this is because they feel nothing will change.

Over a third avoid taking part in Jewish events or visiting Jewish sites because they fear for their safety and feel insecure. The same proportion has also even considered emigrating.

“Many European Jews are extremely concerned for the future,” Dr. Kantor continued. “They have lost faith in the authorities, in their neighbours and in their national leaders and this has led not only to a crisis in their relations with them, but are wavering between two extreme actions, emigration and cutting themselves off from their Jewish community.”

“In many cases, the Jews of Europe have to decide between a commitment to being part of the Jewish community and a commitment to being part of Europe. This is intolerable and a choice no people should have to face.”

“Therefore, the European Council declaration of December 6 2018 on the fight against antisemitism is an important and necessary answer to these terrible findings and is a step in the right direction in order to restore the trust of Europe’s Jewish communities and we hope that concrete measures will follow from all member states after this vital declaration”, Dr. Kantor concluded.”

Read the report here

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