A new government study, released annually, shows a rise in anti-Semitic attacks over the past year, especially violent attacks by radical Islamic groups.
The paper, reporting on trends in anti-Semitism in 2012, was being presented to the Israeli cabinet on Sunday morning, coinciding with International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Prepared by the ministry in charge of diaspora affairs, the study found an increasing number of anti-Semitic attacks on Jews and Jewish communities worldwide, many of which were carried out by groups identifying with extremist Islamist factions or with the radical right, according to Israel Radio.
However, the report found no significant rise in anti-Semitic attacks in the Arab or Muslim world.
The study singles out the attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, which left a rabbi and three children dead, and reports that the largest increase in anti-Semitic incidents over 2012 was in Europe.
It also points to parliamentary victories by a number of far right anti-Semitic parties in Europe, including the Golden dawn party in Greece and the Jobbik party in Hungary, as a worrying trend.
According to Diaspora and Public Information Minister Yuli Edelstein, who will present the report, the anti-Semitic incidents, which took the form of everything from Internet propaganda to physical attacks, had no relationship to Israeli policies.
A report on the same subject released by the ministry last year also found a rise in anti-Semitism, though it gave no specific statistics to back up the claim. That report found the global economic downturn to be the main impetus behind anti-Semitism.
A Tel Aviv University report on global anti-Semitism released in April 2012, however, found a decrease in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2011, though attacks that were carried out were more severe.
That report showed that the number of cases of major violent incidents, including threats and vandalism against Jews, was down to 446 incidents from 614. There was an increase, however, in violence against Jews and Jewish property, as well as a rise in their severity.
France had the most hate crimes against Jews with 114, followed by the United Kingdom with 105, Canada with 68 and Australia with 30. Numbers for the United States were only partly included, noted the Kantor center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University, which presented the report.
Though a past report found an increase in anti-Semitism in response to Israel’s Operation Cast Lead against Gaza in 2008-2009, Edelstein said there had been no uptick in incidents during Israel’s eight-day mini-war with Hamas in November.
“The evidence can be seen that during Pillar of Defense and afterward, there was no dramatic increase in anti-Semitic incidents,” Edelstein told Israel Radio. “Unfortunately, no policies by Israel can influence or lessen this phenomenon of racist hate against Jews.”
January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz Birkenau death camp, is marked each year by the UN and much of the world as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
In a video speech screened on Friday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on people of the world to not stand silent while others were slaughtered.
“In a world where extremist acts of violence and hatred capture the headlines on an almost daily basis, we must remain ever vigilant,” Ban said. “Let us all have the courage to care, so we can build a safer, better world today.”
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor, speaking Friday to mark the day, slammed Hamas and Iranian president Mahmoud Amhadinejad for teaching anti-Semitism and denying the Holocaust.
“The hands of time threaten to cloud the world’s memory. It is our responsibility to rescue the history and lessons of the Holocaust – just as the men and women that we honor today rescued its victims,” he said. “It is on us to teach the values of tolerance – to educate our children so that they live together as one human family.”
JTA contributed to this report.