Photo: Reuters
Jewish school vandalized in Austria
Photo: Reuters
Jewish cemetery desecrated in Russia
Photo: Irena Edelstein
Reproduction photo: French police department
Ilan Halimi. Victim of anti-Semitism in France
Reproduction photo: French police department

Report shows anti-Semitism on the rise

Press conference by Jewish Agency reveals startling rise in anti-Semitic incidents across the world in 2006, including two murders. Austria sees 66 percent rise in incidents, Germany sees 60 percent rise, Russian incidents up by 20 percent

A worrying rise in anti-Semitism has been recorded around the world, according to the Jewish Agency's Global Forum Against Anti-Semitism.


The figures were released during a press conference held in Jerusalem on Sunday afternoon.


According to the figures, there was a 66 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Austria, while Germany saw a 60 percent rise. In France, there was a 20 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents, with the same level of increased incidents reported in Russia. In the UK, reports of anti-Semitic attacks dropped by three percent.


Amos Hermon, of the Forum, reported the rise, which included two anti-Semitic murders. One victim, Ilan Halimi, a French Jew murdered in January of 2006, will be buried in Israel next month. The other, Pamela Wechter, was shot dead by a Muslim gunman in the Jewish Federation Building in Seattle in July.


Images of a bullet-ridden Oslo synagogue, and worshippers at a Moscow synagogue coming under attack were included in a booklet about the current state of anti-Semitism in the world.


Equating Israel with Nazism

"There have been hundreds of violent incidents," Hermon said, drawing particular attention to the plight of European Jews. He emphasized Europe's 20 million-strong Muslim community, adding that being in Jewish in France meant "encountering anti-Semitism frequently."


The French government was, however, doing its best to counter anti-Semitism, Hermon added.


Europe was also scene to "pure white Christian anti-Semitism," Hermon said, citing an article last August by Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder, who wrote in the Aftenposten newspaper: "The State of Israel in its present form is history. We no longer recognize the State of Israel… Do not worry, Israel will go to exile again."


Almost all forms of anti-Semitism, from the anti-Israel boycott attempts by the radical Left, to the propaganda of Islamic extremists, shared the attempt to equate the State of Israel with Nazi Germany, Hermon pointed out.


He displayed a Swedish cartoon in which Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is portrayed as a Nazi concentration camp guard.


By equating Israel with Nazism, anti-Semites hoped to spread the "message that the Jewish nation has no right to exist, because the Nazis, according to international consensus, have no right to exist," Hermon explained, adding that this was the charge in Iran's state anti-Semitism.


Anti-Semitism in Iran  

Iran's Judeophobia raises fears over what Tehran "would do if it obtained nuclear weapons," Israel's Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, said during the press conference.


Livni said that Iran 's nuclear program and anti-Semitic rhetoric were linked, and called on the United Nations to act against the outpouring of anti-Semitism from Tehran .


Citing Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial, and call for "Jews to return to Europe," Livni said: "It is not enough for the United Nations to condemn this. These statements must not be acceptable in the world."


The threat faced by the Jewish Diaspora from the global jihad movement was also highlighted, as was a statement by al-Qaeda's number two Ayman al-Zawahri, who said: "The strongest way of helping our Muslim brothers is to stroke the interests of the Jews and those who cooperate with them."


"All of Europe's Jews know they can come to the sole Jewish State of Israel, which has the Law of Return," Jewish Agency Chairman Zeev Bielski said during the conference.


Among the list of states responsible for anti-Semitic output were Iran, Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon, as well as the Palestinian Authority. Speaking to Ynetnews, Bielski said that he believed "the Egyptian president "was doing its utmost to limit this, and I am sure that in every meeting we have with him or the Egyptian ambassador this issue comes up."


פרסום ראשון: 01.28.07, 19:01
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