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June 25, 2013 5:32 pm

Study: Almost Half of Belgian, French, Hungarian Jews Mull Emigration

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Click photo to download. Caption: Hungarian extreme-right Jobbik party manifestation in Budapest. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. Studies show that despite the fact that European Jewish life continues to be vibrant, 40 to 50 percent of the Jews in Belgium, France and Hungary are considering emigrating, some to Israel and others to North America.

In a report titled “European Jewry—Signals and Noise,” the Jewish People Planning Institute cites a European Union survey on Jews’ perceptions of anti-Semitism showing that anti-Semitic incidents in Europe increased by more than 30 percent in 2012. In France, anti-Semitic incidents increased by 58 percent in 2012, with a staggering 96 violent attacks.

In countries like France and Sweden, anti-Semitism is fueled by Muslim elements and rationalized as a response to Israeli policy against the Palestinians; in Greece and Hungary it draws on calls for ethnic purity and nationalism.

According to a large-scale survey on Jews’ experiences and perceptions of anti-Semitism commissioned by the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency, 26 percent of respondents claim to have experienced anti-Semitic harassment at least once in the 12 months preceding the survey, and 34 percent experienced anti-Semitic harassment over the past five years.

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