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January 7, 2013 10:53 am

Austrian Jewish Community Leader Warns of Major Increase in Anti-Semitic Incidents

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Swastika graffiti. Photo: wiki commons.

The leader of Austria’s Jewish community, Oskar Deutsch, said that anti-Semitic incidents in Austria doubled in 2012 and that he fears the rising anti-Semitism in the rest of Europe.

In an interview with the Kurier newspaper, Deutsch said that the Jewish community had suffered 135 anti-Jewish incidents in 2012, compared to 71 in 2011.

Deutsch named Hungary, Sweden, Norway, Finland, France and Greece as the countries where Jews are facing the greatest threats.

In November, a Hungarian lawmaker from the far-right Jobbik party called for Jews to be registered on lists as threats to national security. While in Greece, the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party has become notorious for its blatant anti-Semitic and xenophobic rhetoric as well as attacks on Jews and other foreigners.

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France, which has Europe’s largest Jewish community, has also garnered significant attention over the past year for a rise in anti-Semitism, especially after last March’s Islamist terrorist attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse that left a rabbi and three Jewish children dead.

“What is worrying now, since the murders in Toulouse, [is that] there has been an increase in anti-Semitic attacks unrelated to the Middle East events,” Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, director of the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Paris office, told last month.

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