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April 25, 2013 12:12 am

Anti-Semitism in Europe Rises, Reports Show

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Hungarian extreme-right Jobbik party manifestation in Budapest. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

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.

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