US criticized for not reporting hate crimes to OSCE

Most other member countries also fail to adequately track anti-Semitic and other attacks, group says

JTA — The United States was among many countries that failed to report anti-Semitic crimes to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe last year, OSCE wrote in its annual report.

The report, “Hate Crimes in the OSCE Region: Incidents and Responses,” cited the US, along with France, Hungary and Greece, as among the countries that failed to “collect, maintain and make public reliable data and statistics in sufficient detail on hate crimes,” as required by a binding OSCE decision from 2009. The report was released last week.

Most of the international organization’s 56 state members provided “lacking data” on anti-Semitic and other hate crimes, the report said, despite the existence of data on the subject.

In the US, the Anti-Defamation League’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents recorded 1,080 anti-Semitic incidents in 2011. In France, the Jewish community’s watchdog on anti-Semitism, SPCJ, counted 343 anti-Semitic acts last year.

Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director, wrote in a statement that “lack of progress” on reporting is “disturbing.”

“Data collection is especially important — as the jumping-off point for a range of political, policy, education, prevention, and response measures,” he wrote. “Understanding the nature and magnitude of the problem is the essential starting point.”

The United Kingdom recorded and reported 438 anti-Semitic hate crimes in 2011, according to the report. In Sweden, official law-enforcement figures recorded 194 anti-Semitic crimes.

“The lack of accurate, comprehensive data on hate crimes undermines the ability of states to understand fully and to deal effectively with the problem of hate crime,” the report said.

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