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November 4, 2022 12:15 pm

Europe Struggling to Record ‘Flourishing’ Antisemitism, EU Agency Warns

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Antisemitic graffiti on a house in the historic center of Lyon in France. Photo: Twitter.

European nations are struggling to accurately record and report a surge in antisemitic incidents amid the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a new report from the European Union’s main civil rights agency has warned.

“Few EU Member States record antisemitic incidents in a way that allows them to publish adequate official data, despite the serious negative impact of antisemitism on Jewish populations in the EU, and on society at large,” the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) observed.

Statistics published in the report showed a year-on-year rise in antisemitic incidents in all EU member states since 2011. Germany was the country registering the largest number of “politically motivated crimes with an antisemitic motive,” with 3,027 incidents recorded in 2021 alone.

Yet the true extent of antisemitic attacks is likely far higher than official numbers reflect, the report underlined.

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“In many EU Member States, the number of officially recorded incidents is very low, which makes it impossible to assess the state of play in trends in antisemitism over time,” the report stated. It added that “low numbers of recorded incidents do not mean that antisemitism is not present. They can indicate that most antisemitic incidents remain unreported, either to the police or to any other authority, institution or organization; recording systems are not in place or are ineffective; organizations lack the skills and capacities to identify antisemitism.”

The report also emphasized that antisemitic discourse has “flourished” in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with the two events having “profoundly affected Jewish communities across Europe.”

“In 2021, international and research organizations confirmed a resurgence of Holocaust trivialization and distortion, and of antisemitic conspiracies giving a misleading or false account/impression of the Holocaust in public space across Europe,” continued the report from the Vienna-based agency, whose mandate is to secure the political, economic and social rights listed in the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The report noted that during the pandemic, “existing antisemitic discourse has been revived, including forms of Holocaust trivialization, and new antisemitic myths and conspiracy theories that blame Jews for the pandemic have come to the fore.” It also referred to a high-level EU meeting in June that expressed concern over “Russia’s use of antisemitic narratives and disinformation as justification for its invasion of Ukraine.”

The meeting had “highlighted insinuations of ‘Nazi’ leadership in Ukraine and the alleged genocide carried out by Ukrainians, and the situation of the Ukrainian Jewish community, as well as the misuse of terms such as ‘Nazi’ and ‘genocide.’”

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