A 6.6% rise in the number of anti-Semitic attacks has been registered across the world in 2007, a report published on Wednesday by the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism at the Tel Aviv University revealed.
Furthermore, the number of severe violent attacks rose threefold in 2007.
According to the study, 632 incidents of racially-motivated violence against Jews have been reported in 2007, compared to 593 in 2006. Fifty-seven percent of the attacks in 2007 have been classified as "major attacks" – three times higher than in 2006, when the number of major attacks stood at 19.
The report's authors noted that the trend of growth in anti-Semitics violence continued last year, despite the absence of a direct "external catalyst" – such as the Second Lebanon war the year before.
The new survey exposes a dual trend in global anti-Semitism: On the one hand, anti-Semitic activity has dropped in several countries, while on the other hand an increase has been noted in the number of major attacks perpetrated with a weapon and intent to kill, and arson.
In France, for instance, the number of hate crimes against Jews dropped from 97 in 2006 to 47 in 2007, while the number of major attacks rose from two to eight. In Australia major attacks dropped from 49 to 29, but five particularly violent incidents were recorded in 2007, compared to only one in 2006.
Meanwhile, in Germany, Canada and Britain the number of anti-Semitics assaults in both categories grew in 2007.
The Institute's report for 2006 reflected an even more alarming growth in anti-Semitism worldwide, claiming attacks against Jews doubled during the year in question.
'Immigrants source for friction'
The report's authors attribute the drop in attacks in several key countries to the growing commitment of governments and international organizations to fighting anti-Semitism, and to the stronger cooperation between Jewish communities and the law enforcement authorities.
They further suggested that the rise in major attacks could be linked to internal social and economic tensions in various countries and the consequent rise in Islamophobia.
The vast majority of violent assaults were registered in western and central Europe, where the growing presence of millions of immigrants, including some 20 million Muslims, is a source for constant friction, the report maintained.