Anti-Semitic attacks on the rise
31 March 2004 , BRUSSELS - Attacks on Jewish people have increased in five European Union countries, including Germany, in recent years, the EU’s anti-racism watchdog warned Wednesday.
31 March 2004
BRUSSELS - Attacks on Jewish people have increased in five European Union countries, including Germany, in recent years, the EU’s anti-racism watchdog warned Wednesday.
A report on "Manifestations of Anti-Semitism," published by the watchdog, documents anti-Semitic incidents ranging from hate mail to physical assaults and arson.
The study singled out Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Britain as countries where anti-Semitic attacks increased in 2002 and 2003.
"Young, disaffected white Europeans," including skinheads, were identified as the largest group of perpetrators of anti-Semitic acts but the report said "young Moslems of North African or Asian origin" were also responsible for such violence.
The 344 page report, published by the Vienna-based European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, is the first large-scale study on anti-Semitism in Europe. The Centre also released a second study, "Perceptions of Anti-Semitism in the E.U.", which included interviews with members of Europes Jewish community.
"Europe has a problem with anti-Semitism, manifestations of which have been getting more frequent in some parts of the EU over the last two or three years," the study underlined.
"There is a problem to be confronted," it warned, adding, however, that effective action by the EU and governments could lead to results.
While physical violence against Jewish people increased in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Britain, the report warned that "anti-Semitic discourse was particularly violent" in Greece, Austria, Italy and Spain.
Anti-Semitic incidents were not reported in Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Finland.
The anti-racism centre warned, however, that member states had very different methods for monitoring and collecting data on anti-Semitism, making it difficult to compare countries performance.
The reports authors insisted that Europes politicians must take a "strong leadership position" on the issue and said there must also be a strong legal framework to support policy actions in all states.
School textbooks should be checked for bias and European political parties must sign and implement a special charter for a non-racist society, the study added.
The Vienna-based anti-racism agency was at the centre of a controversy last December following allegations that it had refused to publish an earlier study on anti-Semitism which claimed that young Muslims were behind many of the attacks. The Centre insisted, however, that the first report was of unsatisfactory quality.
Subject: German News