Cathy Young outlines the depressing findings from a recent study:
The evidence is especially compelling since it comes from a neutral source: the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). The agency surveyed nearly 6,000 self-identified Jews in eight European Union countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the United Kingdom). While the online survey, publicized through Jewish community organizations and media outlets, did not have a random sample of respondents, it was designed with expert input to be as representative as possible.
A few findings:
- Two-thirds of respondents said that anti-Semitism was a serious problem in their country; three out of four felt it had worsened in the past five years.
- One in four said they had personally experienced anti-Jewish harassment in the past twelve months; while this included verbal attacks on the Internet, almost one in five had been harassed in person.
- During the same period, three percent said they had been targets of anti-Semitic vandalism; four percent reported hate-motivated physical assaults or threats.
- Nearly half worried about anti-Jewish harassment or violence; two-thirds of those with school-age children or grandchildren were concerned that the children might experience such harassment at school or on the way to school.
- Close to a quarter said they sometimes refrained from visiting Jewish events or sites out of safety concerns. Nearly two out of five usually avoided public displays of Jewish identity such as wearing a Star of David.
- Almost one in three had considered emigrating because they did not feel safe as Jews.
Even if the self-selected the pool of respondents was skewed toward those affected by or strongly concerned about anti-Semitism, these are still disturbing results.