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April 13, 2016 3:48 pm

Human Rights Groups: Neo-Fascists, Islamic Extremists Behind Rise in Antisemitic Hate Crimes in OSCE Countries

avatar by Lea Speyer

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A French antisemitic attack victim. Photo: provided.

A French Jew who suffered an attack. Photo: by victim.

The number of antisemitic hate crimes in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) region are rising and neo-fascist and Islamist groups are the cause, a human rights report published on Tuesday claims.

The report, issued jointly by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Human Rights First (HRF), found that OSCE states, which include the US, under-report hate crimes and fail to live up to their commitments to fight them. The report was published days before an OSCE conference in Vienna aimed at promoting tolerance and nondiscrimination.

“In some OSCE countries there has been a rise in antisemitic hate crime,” the report stated. “This alarming development can be traced to both incitement from neo-fascist groups and the growth of violent Islamist extremist groups. Antisemitism is a virulent thread that runs through the ideologies of many extremist groups, even though their worldviews converge on little else.”

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The governments of Greece, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland and France were specifically named in the report for the rise of “openly antisemitic, anti-Muslim, racist and homophobic far-right political parties.” 

According to the ADL and HRF, their joint report “only provides a partial picture” of the frequency in which antisemitic hate crimes take place in the region. The lack of reporting or under-reporting of hate crimes by OSCE states “is simply not acceptable or credible,” the human rights groups said. “In the current environment — with the refugee crisis, the rise of far-right parties and movements espousing hatred, and an increase in hate crimes — there is an urgent need for the OSCE’s participating states to make reporting a higher priority.” 

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