694 antisemitic incidents recorded in the Czech Republic in 2019

There were 694 antisemitic incidents in 2019, according to the latest annual report on manifestations of antisemitism in the Czech Republic, published by the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic (FJC), the country’s EJC affiliate, twice as many as in 2018 when 347 incidents were recorded.

Online antisemitic manifestations of hatred account for 95 % of all recorded incidents. In contrast, violent antisemitism remains extremely uncommon in the Czech Republic. No case of physical aggression with an antisemitic motive was recorded in 2019. In light of the fact that most violent antisemitic incidents are not reported by victims, the report advises caution with regard to this statistic.

In 2019 there were also three cases of defacement of Jewish property with antisemitic inscriptions, and six incidents of threats, harassment or insults against individuals presumed to be Jewish. In both these categories the number of recorded incidents was the same or lower than in 2018.

“We consider it necessary to point out that the sharp increase in the number of incidents recorded on the internet compared to 2018 need not necessarily reflect a dramatic worsening of antisemitic moods in the Czech Republic,” the report states.

“As in the previous year, the Czech Republic can be perceived as a country which is safe for the Jewish community, especially when compared with other countries in central and western Europe,” the report continues. “Nevertheless, increased attention must be paid to manifestations of antisemitism in the internet environment, accounting for most of the incidents.”

Nevertheless, the report warns that increased attention must be paid to online manifestations of antisemitism. Analysis of major violent antisemitic incidents worldwide confirms that these violent have almost always been preceded by gradual radicalisation of hostile prejudice aired on the internet, especially on social networks.

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