A third of Europe’s Jews have weighed leaving because of safety fears

EU Agency for Fundamental Rights’ survey, on 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, shows three-quarters of continent’s Jews see anti-Semitism on rise

A poll of European Jews has found that more than three-quarters of those questioned believe anti-Semitism is on the rise in their home countries and close to one-third have considered emigrating because they don’t feel safe.

The survey was conducted by the European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Its release Friday was timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogroms in Nazi Germany.

The Agency for Fundamental Rights said 5,847 self-identified Jews were surveyed in eight Western European countries “in which some 90% of the estimated Jewish population in the EU live.”

Among the findings: 34 percent of poll respondents in Sweden and 29 percent in France said they never wear a Star of David or anything else that could signal their religion.

Over three quarters of overall respondents said the situation had become “more acute” in the last five years and the same number consider online anti-Semitism to be a real problem.

Twenty one percent said they had experienced an anti-Semitic incident “involving verbal insult, harassment or a physical attack” in the year preceding the poll.

Hungary garnered the highest numbers among respondents for manifestations of anti-Semitism on the internet, in the media, and in political life — 86%, 73%, and 84% respectively.

In France, 78% of respondents said vandalism of Jewish buildings and institutions was a problem.

According to the report, only 8% of survey respondents in Latvia said the Arab-Israeli conflict had an impact on their feelings of safety, with that figure rising to 28% for respondents in Germany and 73% in France.

The agency said its findings aim to provide guidance on measures to take against anti-Semitism.

“Antisemitism is a disturbing example of how prejudice can persist through the centuries, and it has no place in our society today. It is particularly distressing to see that the internet, which should be a tool for communication and dialogue, is being used as an instrument of
anti-Semitic harassment,” said FRA Director Morten Kjaerum. “While many EU governments have made great efforts to combat anti-Semitism, more targeted measures are needed.”

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