Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress (EJC), spoke about the rise in all forms of antisemitism at the release of the 2018 Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide at the Kantor Center at Tel Aviv University.
“If I have to summarize in one sentence the situation concerning antisemitism in 2018 and the beginning of 2019, I would say it is the increasing sense of emergency among Jews in many countries around the world,” Dr. Kantor said.
“Anti-Semitism has recently progressed to the point of calling into question the very continuation of Jewish life in many parts of the world. As we saw with the second mass shooting of a synagogue in the US, many parts of the world that were previously regarded as safe no longer are.”
“Additionally, as we recently witnessed with the disgraceful cartoon in The New York Times, anti-Semitism has entered gradually into the public discourse. Threats, harassment, and insults have become more violent, inciting to even more physical violence against Jews. It feels like almost every taboo relating to Jews, Judaism and Jewish life has been broken.”
In 2018, we witnessed the largest number of Jews murdered in a single year in decades.
The number of the most severe and violent incidents monitored worldwide by the Kantor Center was close to 400 - representing a 13 % increase from last year.
In Western European countries, the situation is the worst – specifically in Germany where there was a 70 percent increase in violent anti-Semitism.
The countries with the highest number of major violent cases are the US with over 100 cases, the UK with 68 cases, France and Germany with 35 cases each and Canada with 20 reported cases involving violence against Jews.
“It is now clear that anti-Semitism is no longer limited to the far-Left, far-Right and radical Islamist’s triangle - it has become mainstream and often accepted by civil society,” Dr. Kantor continued. “It represents a clear danger not only to Jews but to society as a whole. Anti-Semitism is the common denominator that unites extremists on the political spectrum, as part of their politics of intolerance that puts us all in danger.”
“With the political center becoming more fragile, these extremist movements and groups seek to gain political power by attacking the foundations of democratic societies,” Dr. Kantor concluded.