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Pew: Harassment of Jews Rising Across Europe

Study finds frequency of anti-Semitic incidents at seven-year high

Gabriela Geselowitz
March 02, 2015

A new Pew Research Center study has found, unsurprisingly, that European anti-Semitism is intensifying. The study, covering 2011 to 2013, found that incidents are at a seven-year high, occurring in 34 out of Europe’s 45 countries. This figure surpassed even the number of countries with notable levels of Islamophobia, also on the rise.

This study records “social hostilities,” meaning incidents perpetuated by individuals, unconnected with official governmental policies. Pew cited incidents ranging from anti-Semitic graffiti or vandalization of Jewish memorials to the threatening online publication of a list of Italian-Jewish homes and businesses. The study also tracked when “organized groups used force or coercion to try to impose their views on religion,” “individuals were assaulted or displaced from their homes or places of worship in retaliation for religious activities,” and discrimination against women based on religious dress.

Of course, these results are hardly unexpected given the other recent studies reporting a rise in anti-Semitism. One hotly-debated poll found that more than a quarter of British Jews have considered leaving the U.K. Domestically, a report found anti-Jewish bigotry on the rise in U.S. college campuses. Official findings aside, violent incidents have been occurring with disturbingly frequency across Europe in recent months, from the deadly siege of a kosher supermarket in Paris to the attack on a Danish synagogue in which a gunman killed a volunteer security guard.

Gabriela Geselowitz is a writer and the former editor of

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