April 8, 2013 – New York – AJC called a new study of anti-Semitism in Europe, showing a 30 percent spike in incidents, a wake-up call that should lead governments and civic organizations to step up efforts to address this growing danger.
“The Tel Aviv University report confirms our own fears, based on regular contact with Jewish communities across Europe,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “Anti-Semitism not only threatens Jews, but the very fabric of democratic societies in which they live. There must be a recognition of the extent of the growing threat, and a commensurate commitment to confront this age-old scourge.”
AJC delegations have discussed the issue of anti-Semitism, most recently during visits to Berlin, Paris, Athens and Rome, with top government officials. Moreover, AJC offices in Berlin, Brussels, Paris and Rome monitor and seek to combat anti-Semitism locally and in other European countries.
In addition, Rabbi Andrew Baker, AJC Director of International Jewish Affairs, serves as the top advisor on anti-Semitism to the 57-member Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). He has reported on disturbing trends in a number of European countries and recommended steps to be taken in response. He also recently testified in the U.S. Congress on anti-Semitism.
“Sadly, as we mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, this report reminds us that the depths of hatred of Jews, left unchecked, could lead to more tragedies,” said Harris. “Constant vigilance, by Jewish communities, by governments, by civil societies, and all people of goodwill, is essential.”
The report by Tel Aviv University’s Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry recorded 686 attacks in 2012, compared to 526 in 2011, ranging from physical violence to vandalism of synagogues and Jewish cemeteries.