Violent attacks against Jews worldwide dropped in 2013, but anti-Semitism is becoming more widespread in Europe amid a rise in popularity of extremist parties, according to a report released Sunday.
Researchers at Tel Aviv University recorded 554 violent anti-Semitic acts in 2013, including attacks on people and vandalism against synagogues, cemeteries and other Jewish institutions.
The figures showed a 19 percent drop compared to 2012, when a deadly shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, sparked a series of copycat attacks.
Despite the decline, the number of attacks was similar to that recorded in 2011 and over the last 10 years — a much higher average than the 150-200 cases that occurred between 1994 and 2004.
Like last year, France had the highest number of incidents, 116. More than one third of attacks globally were directed at people.
The report is released yearly ahead of Israel’s Holocaust memorial day, which begins Sunday evening.
One example the report raised is the quenelle, an inverted Nazi salute popularized by a controversial French comedian. It has been made in front of sensitive sites, such as Anne Frank’s home or Nazi concentration camps.