The World Zionist Organization (WZO) on Tuesday released a report on antisemitism in 2022, noting an increase in prejudice against Jewish people around the world and urging a collective effort to fight it.
The report by WZO’s Department for Combating Antisemitism and Enhancing Resilience came days before International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
A series of global developments last year were highlighted, to “summarize antisemitism:”
* An increase in media coverage of antisemitic incidents, with an emphasis on social media
* Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as an accelerating factor for propaganda and conspiracy theories against Jews
* A decrease in the number of antisemitic events in the United Kingdom
* An increase in antisemitic incidents in the United States
The report, led by Department head Racheli Bartz-Rix, was based on local and international data from research bodies, local police, and Jewish communities, and was meant to “present the current picture of the state of antisemitism.”
It showed that the increase in the number of antisemitic incidents has been curbed after an increase in the last decade, but the situation still remains alarming.
"The constant increase in antisemitism trends in the last decade is a matter of concern, while even the marked reduction in the number of incidents this year is not a sigh of relief,” said Bartz-Rix in a statement.
“Antisemitism is everywhere, at any point in time and space, and we must not be silent on the guard against the phenomenon. I call for a joint integration of arms to deal with the areas of consciousness and advocacy in order to provide a broad response to this disturbing trend."
A global view
In 2022, antisemitic incidents originating from Europe and the U.S. occupied a significant volume of approximately 46 percent and 39 percent respectively, compared to 47.7 percent in Europe and 33 percent in the U.S. the previous year.
Most of the antisemitic incidents this year were characterized by propaganda and vandalism, as well as physical violence, verbal abuse, and delegitimization.
The Department highlighted an “alarming increase in the phenomenon of antisemitism” in the United States, “which manifests itself in disturbing trends in light of the strengthening of white supremacist organizations alongside an increase in anti-semitic expressions from the progressive left.”
According to the report, there has been a jump of 61 percent in the number of cases of violence or planning violence against Jewish institutions. On college campuses, the report accused the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement of forcing Israeli students to feel the need to hide their identity and support for the Jewish state.
In Germany, between January and September 2022, 1,555 antisemitic incidents were reported to the police – an average of five events per day. Still, there was a significant decrease in the trend of antisemitism there, the report said.
Italy’s education system, the Department found, presented antisemitism among high schools, and in Rome particularly, 64 percent of students believe the type of prejudice exists in their country. When asked about the source of antisemitism, 25 percent said it originates from antisemitism, five percent said it comes from anti-Zionism, and 30 percent believed the hostility stems from both.
In France, the report showed a drop in the number of antisemitic incidents compared to 2021. However, it said “the trends of antisemitism in France reveal a grim picture” in that 74 percent of French Jews have been victims of antisemitism in their lifetime. Furthermore, most of the respondents – Jews (77 percent) and non-Jews (73 percent) alike – said they believe that antisemitism is a problematic factor not only for the Jews in the country but for the whole of French society.
Throughout the past decade, a constant decrease in the number of antisemitic incidents was detected in Russia, but a study at the beginning of 2022 indicated that the prejudice is still rooted in the country’s society.
In Ukraine, an increase in antisemitism was detected in recent years. But since the outbreak of the war, the number of reports has decreased. The report noted that it can be assumed that such numbers are inaccurate, and while the Jewish community continues to publish reports on antisemitic events, “under the noise of war it is not possible to see the full picture.”
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war is accompanied by antisemitic statements toward the Jewish communities in both countries, the report continued, alongside conspiracies regarding Israel's involvement in the war characterized by claims that the Jews are plotting to take over the world.
Since Russia’s invasion in February, there has been a significant increase in the scope of antisemitic expressions and conspiracy theories on social media in Poland. These conspiracies included accusations against Jews as being responsible for the invasion in order to profit from it, harm Poland, and take over Ukraine, the report said.
‘Clear, black flag’
“Antisemitism on social media is increasing at an alarming rate and, unfortunately, as history has taught us, it will also lead to physical acts,” warned WZO Chairman Ya’akov Hagoel. “We raise a clear black flag in view of the increase in incitement on the networks and call on the heads of state to raise the fight against antisemitism to the top of the list of priorities.”
“Also on the [Israeli] government's table is a proposal that I submitted to the previous prime minister Naftali Bennett to recognize victims of antisemitism in the world as victims of hostilities,” Hagoel continued.
“I will act as soon as possible to promote this offer. We must remember them in state ceremonies of the State of Israel, and act so that they will be an integral part of the nation's memory and the shared national unity."
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.