from Pressure Points and Middle East Program

How Safe Are the Jews of Europe?

November 16, 2014

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A new study by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (a London-based research organization, which conducted the survey on behalf of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU) is "the first in a series of reports looking at the perceptions and experiences of antisemitism among Jews in different EU Member States."

The findings are alarming, although they make it clear that the situation of British Jews is considerably better than that of Jews living on the Continent.

The study is entitled "The Exceptional Case? Perceptions and experiences of antisemitism among Jews in the United Kingdom," and can be found here.  Among the findings about the UK:

--Close to 70% of British Jews say anti-Semitism there is growing.

--A significant minority of 15-20% of (British) respondents who say they do avoid Jewish events and certain places in their neighborhood, at least on occasion, due to concern for their safety as Jews.

--A remarkable three in five traditionally observant Jews report that they sometimes avoid public displays of Jewishness--such as wearing a kipah or displaying a mezuzah--out of fear.

That’s the good news. As the study concludes, "compared with other Jewish populations in Europe, Jews in the United Kingdom generally experience less antisemitism and are less worried about it."  Here are some data about the Continent:

--74% of French Jews worry about being victims of anti-Semitic acts.

--52% of French Jews says they are considering leaving France entirely.

These data show that Jewish life in Europe is rather different from that in Canada or the United States, where such elements of fear are absent. Absent as well are the various legal initiatives in Europe to ban kosher slaughter and circumcision; passage of such laws makes Jewish life impossible and delivers a message to Jews that the welcome mat has been pulled and it is time to leave.

The study is carefully done, and worth a serious look.

 

 

 

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