France was the most dangerous country for Jews in 2014, with the highest incidence of anti-Semitism, an annual Israeli state report released on Sunday maintained.
The report, which was set to be presented to the Knesset Sunday by Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett, also recorded a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic attacks during the summer Gaza conflict, and maintained that most attacks were carried out by Muslim extremists.
“France was marked as the most dangerous country for Jews today,” a statement said. The number of anti-Semitic crimes doubled in France in 2014, it maintained.
“Last year nearly 1,000 anti-Semitic incidents were reported including assaults, many categorized as ‘extremely violent’ as well as attacks on synagogues and other Jewish institutes.”
Most attacks were carried out by radical Islamists, rather than neo-Nazi groups, it said.
“The radical right continues to be a central force in anti-Semitic activity, but in most violent incidents that occurred, the perpetrators were from an Arab or Muslim background,” it said.
In France, at the end of July, eight synagogues were attacked within one week, and a kosher supermarket and pharmacy were broken into and trashed, the report said.
Much of the anti-Jewish sentiment emerged at protests that criticized Israeli actions, and swiftly turned to anti-Semitic slogans, it said.
“We continue to see deterioration around the world. The old anti-Semitism, spouting the familiar stereotype of a global Jewish conspiracy, is being increasingly coupled with the campaign to delegitimize Israel,” Bennett said in a statement. “It is radical Islam which is acting as the bridge for these two racist beliefs. They’ll use any perverted excuse to further their goal which is the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people.”
While anti-Semitism increased worldwide, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the former Soviet Union, and anti-Israel advocacy on US college campuses saw “major increases,” the report said.