Danes downplay seriousness of physical assaults on Jews

Despite surge in anti-Semitic incidents across Europe, less than half of Europeans say attacks on Jews are an issue.

Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA,

Flag of Denmark
Flag of Denmark
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Four years after a jihadist killed a Jewish guard outside a Danish synagogue, only 42 percent of Danes said that physical attacks on Jews were “a problem.”

Respondents in Hungary, which has not had a fatal attack on a Jew for decades, displayed greater concern about attacks on Jews, with 44 percent of respondents saying physical attacks there were a problem.

In a survey published Tuesday, the European Union asked non-Jewish adults in 28 EU countries about their perceptions on anti-Semitism.

The highest level of awareness was in France, the only country where a majority of respondents, 54 percent, said physical attacks on Jews were “a very important problem.”

Asked whether physical attacks on Jews were a problem in Denmark, 19 percent said “not at all” and another 31 percent said “not really a problem.” Eight percent said they didn’t know. Forty-two percent of the 1,004 Danish respondents said the issue was a problem: 17 percent said it was a “very important problem” and 25 percent said it was a “fairly important problem.”

Denmark, which has about 8,000 Jews, has several dozen anti-Semitic incidents annually. In 2014, a Jewish school in Copenhagen warned male students not to wear a kippah in public or hide it for fear of attacks.

Dan Uzan, a guard at the main synagogue of Copenhagen’s Jewish community, was killed in February 2015 in a terrorist attack outside the building.

Of the poll’s 27,643 respondents across Europe, half said physical attacks on Jews were not a problem and 42 percent said they were. The remaining 8 percent said they did not know.


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