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EUROPEAN JEWISH CONGRESS CALLS ON EU TO TAKE ACTIVE STEPS TO REGAIN TRUST OF EUROPEAN JEWRY Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 November 2013 13:38
 
EU FRA Survey Indicates Jews have no Faith in Authorities Response to Anti-Semitic Attacks
 
(Brussels, Friday, November 8, 2013) – The European Jewish Congress (EJC) has called on European leaders and institutions to seriously study the results and take appropriate action after the release of a survey on anti-Semitism by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), showing a substantial rise in the number of Jews who have been subjected to anti-Semitic attacks.
The survey, which took place during September and October comprising approximately 6,000 respondents from Sweden, France, Belgium, Britain, Germany, Italy, Hungary and Latvia, shows that a quarter of respondents said they avoid visiting places and wearing symbols that identify them as Jews for fear of anti-Semitism.
“We commend FRA for conducting this serious and in-depth study on a matter of such importance," said Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress, "However the fact that a quarter of Jews are not able to express their Jewishness because of fear should be a watershed moment for the continent of Europe and the European Union,”.
“The Jewish reality in Europe is of great concern and the authorities need to deal with incidents of hate and intolerance in a holistic manner to really combat these manifestations before it is too late.”
“We would like to see concrete steps being taken, including creating legislation to specifically deal with anti-Semitism and racism, bolstering law enforcement agencies and ensure a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism, even, and perhaps, specifically, when opinion-shapers and decision-makers engage in these forms of hate.”
More troubling were the results from the survey showing that the number of reported number of anti-Semitic incidents is much lower than the actual number of anti-Semitic incidents, because according to the report, 82% of respondents to the survey admitted that they did not report the most serious incidents to any authority of organization. Two thirds of respondents to the survey said that reporting incidents was either “not worth the effort” or otherwise ineffectual.
“This is the most damning indictment of the report." Kantor said. “European Jewry simply has little faith or trust in the process of law enforcement, legislative or judicial processes on large parts of the continent.”
“We also need to do more to educate towards tolerance and respect for the other. The rise of extremism means that democracy has to protect itself, and the response of governments needs to be to put democracy first, like the response of the Greek Government when it stopped government funding for the neo-Nazi party ‘Golden Dawn’. This is not just a problem for Jews, but it is a problem for all Europeans and the identity and spirit of the European Union depends on taking these steps.”
The European Jewish Congress cooperated with FRA on this survey and has worked closely with the organization and its predecessor for many years. Serge Cwajgenbaum, Secretary General of the EJC, and Dr. Ariel Muzicant, EJC Vice-President, participated in the press conference where the survey results were officially released on behalf of European Jewry.
Professor Dina Porat, head of The Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry which releases an annual report on anti-Semitism worldwide and collects all international and domestic legislation against discrimination, commented on the very high number of those victims of anti-Semitic attacks which are unreported. “This staggering number reflects a feeling of giving up, of seeing no point in fighting back, of a lost battle. Feelings and emotions are very hard to monitor and measure, yet an attempt was made here to do exactly that.” Professor Porat said.
European Jewish Congress (EJC) European Office

 
 
Launch of FRA Survey on discrimination and hate crime against Jews on 8 November 2013
 
Today, 8 November 2013, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) presents the first comparable figures on Jewish people’s experiences of antisemitic harassment, discrimination and hate crime in the EU. This report covers responses from 5,847 Jewish people in the eight countries in which some 90% of the estimated Jewish population in the EU live (Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden, and the UK). The findings will be complemented by FRA's annual “Antisemitism Overview”, which brings together statistical data on antisemitic incidents collected by governmental and non-governmental sources.
 
Please find the documents attached. The full package of reports, press release, media memo and data explorer are accessible on www.fra.europa.eu
 
 
 
Key findings:
-66% of respondents consider antisemitism to be a major problem in their countries, while 76% said the situation had become more acute over the last five years.
-21% of all respondents have experienced an antisemitic incident or incidents involving verbal insult, harassment or a physical attack in the 12 months preceding the survey. 2% of respondents had been victims of an antisemitic physical attack over the previous year.
-Under-reporting: 76% of victims of antisemitic harassment did not report the most serious incident to the police or any other organisation.
-Under-recording: limited data-collection mechanisms in many EU Member States mean that antisemitic attacks remain under-recorded.
-Antisemitism is considered the fourth most-pressing social or political issue across the countries surveyed (see Table 1 in report).
-Three-quarters of respondents consider online antisemitism to be a problem.
The report contains concrete suggestions on how to develop targeted legal and policy measures, and aims to be a vital tool for EU decision makers and community groups.
We hope that you will find the information, analysis and activities captured in these reports interesting and of use to you in your work. Should you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
 
See here the FRA survey of Jewish people’s experiences and perceptions of hate crime, discrimination and anti-Semitism.  

 

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