Jews in Denmark Report Steep Rise in Antisemitic Incidents Over Past Year
The small Jewish community in Denmark experienced a 50-percent increase in antisemitic attacks in 2018 over the previous year, a new report from the Scandinavian country’s Jewish representative organization has revealed.
Compiled by Det Jødiske Samfund (“The Jewish Community”) — the official body of Danish Jews — the report noted 45 incidents targeting Jews in 2018, compared with 30 incidents the year before. It concluded that after several years of relative peace and stability, an increase in antisemitic attacks had occurred in each of the years since 2015 — when one person was killed in a Feb. 14 terrorist attack against the Great Synagogue in Copenhagen, as a bat mitzvah ceremony was underway.
Denmark is home to between 6,400 and 8,500 Jews, according to the World Jewish Congress (WJC).
Henri Goldstein, the head of the Danish Jewish community, emphasized that the true scale of the antisemitism problem remained unknown, since many incidents went unreported to the police.
“From the incidents we have been able to record, it’s worrying,” Goldstein said in a statement. “The report depicts a negative development that must be taken very seriously.”
The report showed a rise in antisemitic vandalism and violence, with four physical assaults upon Jews in 2018. Eighty percent of the recorded incidents involved antisemitic rhetoric, much of it posted on social media and frequently connected to the ongoing campaign in Denmark against the religious circumcision of male infants.
Goldstein said that despite the Jewish community “feeling pressure from several different sides,” the majority of Danes were clearly opposed to antisemitism.
“Overall, we’ve received massive support from the Danish civil society, and we have good cooperation with the police and the Ministry of Justice on security,” he said.