– Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world. On the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Israeli government received a disturbing report showing a sharp increase in anti-Semitic incidents worldwide during the year 2015.
For example: In France, over half — 57 percent — of the members of the Jewish community are now considering emigration to Israel and elsewhere. That statistic reflects the frightening 84 percent surge in anti-Semitic incidents in France between January and May 2015. Last year, more Jews than ever emigrated to Israel from Western Europe.
London saw an alarming 61 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents.
Jewish students on American campuses report anti-Semitic-related insecurity: 75% say they have experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism. An increase of more than 30% of anti-Israeli programs in campuses across the country was recorded.
Movements on campus, such as “Students for Palestine,” are winning the support of the faculty and academic staff. Struggles against the rise in tuition fees accuse that it is due to the indirect ruling “with the regime Zionist” and that “the Israelis are responsible for the financial woes of the world.”
The report also noted that more than 40% of European Union citizens hold anti-Semitic views, agreeing with the statement that “Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians,” or the claim that “Israel is behaving like the Nazis.” The leadership of the EU and its member states have ignored this fact for over a decade.
The BDS movement is gaining momentum in Europe, and promotes boycotting not only Israel but also Jewish representatives and events.
In Russia and Ukraine anti-Semitism persisted in the old style, as Jews were caricatured in the media as stateless, shadowy figures. The governments have not been acting to stamp out the phenomenon. The memorial site at Babi Yar was desecrated no less than six times last year, to no significant response from the authorities.
In Poland, for the first time, a member of parliament was chosen, a candidate for the presidency, who employed anti-Semitic rhetoric, blaming the world’s problems on “Jewish bankers.”
Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett noted that, congruent to Muslims attacks, anti-Semitism against Jews in Europe is specifically worsening, and each time wears a new mark. “Anti-Semitism quietly seeks to find a safe place in buildings of the institutions, under the roofs of organizations dealing with alleged human rights, and there is aggravated incitement and hatred.”
Bennett emphasized that “the Ministry of Diaspora holds the utmost importance with dealing with the struggle against anti-Semitism, as an integral part of mutual responsibility between Israel and the Diaspora. We will continue to eradicate illiteracy, return confidence to communities, and ensure Jewish life in the Diaspora can fully thrive.”
Director General of the Ministry of Diaspora, Dvir Kahana, said that, “the ministry headquarters built a multi-year strategic plan to combat anti-Semitism, shared by relevant government agencies. The program this year will include efforts focused on reducing incitement on the Internet, providing a policy tool for governments and organizations to combat the phenomenon, and assist communities that are under threat and those affected by anti-Semitism.”