Israeli Study: More Than a Third of European Jews Fear Wearing Kippah in Public
A disturbing study conducted on behalf of the Israeli government confirms a marked rise in anti-Semitism across Europe, Israeli daily Walla reported on Sunday.
According to the report, Jews throughout the continent are rapidly assimilating into non-Jewish society as a result of the intimation they increasingly feel, Walla said.
While the number of crimes targeting Jews or Jewish institutions around the world did not increase over the last year, the survey highlighted several alarming statistics regarding the attitudes and fears of European Jewry.
Conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in nine countries in Europe, the poll revealed that 23 percent of European Jews avoid attending Jewish-themed events or Jewish institutions for fear of being harassed on the way; 38 percent will not wear any obviously Jewish accessories when out in public, such as a Kippah, and 66 percent perceive anti-Semitism as a substantial and constant factor affecting the quality of their lives.
Most troubling, 77 percent of those surveyed said they have so little faith in local authorities that they did not report any incidents of anti-Semitism that they had experienced over the last year.
According to the report, “The anti-Semitic atmosphere is being fanned by the growing popularity of anti-Semitic thought and commentary on various social networks, anti-Semitic demonstrations and events, as well as the [possibility of] dissemination of anti-Semitic rants to masses of people around the world, with the click of a button.”
In summation, the study shows that Europe’s Jews are more pessimistic about their future than they are willing to admit and that Jews all over the continent do not feel safe, Walla said.
The main points of the survey are included in the Jewish People Policy Institute’s Annual Assessment report, which was presented to the Israeli government on Sunday by Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett.
“Contrary to what people think, anti-Semitism does not bring the Diaspora Jews closer to Israel,” said Minister Bennett in response to the release of the survey’s findings. “For every Jew who comes to Israel because of the anti-Semitic environment [in his or her country of origin], there are many who make another decision, which is to stay behind and sever all connections to Jewish life – the quiet consequences of anti-Semitism.”
The Israeli government’s report on anti-Semitism was made public one day before the world commemorates International Holocaust Day on Monday.