Anti-Semitism in Europe Rises, Reports Show
The U.S. State Department issued a report on human rights showing a rise in anti-Semitism in many European countries, particularly in Hungary and the Ukraine.
“Through July, a spate of anti-Semitic incidents occurred that included vandalism of Jewish memorials and cemeteries and the accosting of Jewish public figures on the streets,” stated the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, which was released April 19. Hungarian politicians, particularly the extreme-right Jobbik party, strive “to rehabilitate the reputations of several World War II era figures associated with anti-Semitism,” according to the report.
In the Ukraine, although many “senior government officials and politicians from various political parties continued efforts to combat anti-Semitism,” members of the Jewish community expressed concern that some politicians still “use elements of anti-Semitism both in their public rhetoric to mobilize supporters and also as part of propaganda aimed at discrediting their political opponents,” the State Department report said.
Another report, by the Center for Research on Prejudice at Warsaw University, showed that 60.7 percent of Warsaw high school students would dislike having a girlfriend or boyfriend who is Jewish. Forty-four percent would dislike having a Jewish family live in the same neighborhood and 45 percent would dislike discovering a person of Jewish origin in their own family.
The State Department report’s findings are not limited to European countries. In Venezuela, Jewish community leaders “publicly expressed concern about numerous anti-Semitic statements linked to the government,” the report said. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, known for his anti-Jewish attitude and policies, died in March, but was replaced by his handpicked successor, Nicolas Maduro.