26% rise in antisemitic incidents in the Czech Republic, according to latest report

A total of 874 antisemitic incidents were recorded in the Czech Republic in 2020. This is 180 more than in 2019, when 694 incidents were recorded, according to the Annual Report on Manifestations of Antisemitism in 2020 published by the Federation of Jewish Communities of the Czech Republic (FZO).

The increase amounts to a 26% rise. Nevertheless, violent incidents are still rare in the Czech Republic; in 2020 one case of physical assault with an antisemitic motivation was recorded. In the category of desecration of Jewish property also only one incident was recorded, the other six fell into the category of threats of violent act, harassment or insult of a person due to his-or-her actual or alleged Jewish background. In both categories, the number of recorded incidents was the same or lower than in 2018 and 2019.

The vast majority of all recorded antisemitic incidents – 98% – are expressions of hatred on the internet (articles, posts on social networks, anonymous comments and discussion posts). An enormous increase in the incidence of various conspiracy myths, related to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent manifestations of antisemitism, has been a worldwide phenomenon over the past year. In the Czech Republic, these conspiracy theories were spread by traditional disinformation platforms, but also individuals and groups, with antisemitic theses about the intended spread of coronavirus or the promotion of financial interests in relation to vaccination against the disease.

The report stresses Antisemitism in the internet environment cannot be underestimated, the analysis of foreign violent antisemitic attacks and the profile of their perpetrators confirms that the act of violence is almost always preceded by radicalization and hate speech, revealed on the internet, especially on social networks.

Despite all these findings, the report emphasises that the Czech Republic – as in previous years – can still be viewed as a country that is safe for its Jewish community, especially in comparison with other countries in Central and Western Europe.

The FZO is the country’s EJC affiliate.

Click here to download the report.

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