June 25, 2013
New report presented to government says 26% of European Jews harassed in past year, many considering making aliyah as they no longer feel safe
A troubling report presented to the government on Sunday verifies what many in Europe have been feeling in recent months – anti-Semitism in the continent is on the rise, and is breaking new records.
The anti-Semitism survey was conducted on behalf of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in nine countries in Europe.
According to its main findings, 26% of Jews have suffered from anti-Semitic harassment at least once in the past year, 34% experienced such harassment in the past five years, 5% reported that their property was intentionally vandalized because they are Jewish, about 7% were physically hurt or threatened in the past five years.
As a result, 40% to 50% of Jews in France, Belgium and Hungary said they were considering emigrating as they no longer felt safe.
The main points of the survey are included in the Jewish People Policy Institute’s Annual Assessment report, which was presented to the government on Sunday. According to the report, Europe’s Jews are more pessimistic in regards to their future than they are willing to admit, and Jews all over the continent do not feel safe.
According to the report’s authors, Europe’s Jews may be reaching the conclusion that the situation will only get worse. According to the report’s figures, some 300 Jewish families immigrated from France to Montreal recently, and another 120 immigrated to London. In light of the situation, the JPPI estimates that many Jews will look into the possibility of immigrating to Israel, and recommends that the government take several steps in order to encourage that trend: Remove bureaucratic hurdles for recognizing academic degrees obtained abroad, ease the absorption of immigrants with professions requiring licensing, and avoid making every immigrant automatically enlist with the army.
The JPPI also suggests easing conversion and encouraging the conversion of non-Jews (from all over the world) who are married to Jews.