Attacks against Jewish businesses and individuals grew worldwide by 38 per cent in 2014, a new report by Tel Aviv University academics reveals, with France showing the fastest rate of growth in anti-Semitic violence.
Although events such as the execution of a Jewish man outside a Synagogue in Copenhagen and the siege at a kosher deli in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks have attracted intense media attention, they are just the most visible signs in Europe of a rising global tide of anti-Semitic hatred and violence. Even before the heightening of tensions following the January terrorist attacks, 164 acts of violence were recorded in 2014, compared with 141 in 2013.
The figures include actual acts of violence against Jews, as well as vandalism and threats against Jewish premises and synagogues. Britain also recorded a significant increase in attacks between 2014 and 2013, with 141 incidents, up from 95, reports the Daily Mail.
In France in particular, the prevalence of anti-Semitic behaviour is rising although the number of Jews in the country is actually in free-fall. The kosher hypermarket siege in January exacerbated the trend of European Jews leaving their homes for a new future in Israel, which despite the ongoing war with the Palestinian territories is perceived as being safer for Jewish people.
Over the course of 2014, some 7,000 Jews left France in an exodus that has continued this year. Breitbart London reported in January that in addition to Israel, many chose to make a shorter relocation across the channel to the United Kingdom.
Although the abuse suffered by Jews ranges from the comparatively banal – a comment in the street, for instance, it can go so far as horrific targeted attacks. A young couple picked out for being Jewish described their ordeal last year after a gang of ‘African and North African men’ stormed their apartment demanding cash and valuables.
As they robbed the couple, the assailants explained the rationale behind the home invasion: “We are here to rob you and beat up Jews at the same time…. You must have cash here because you are Jews”. When they found none, they took bank cards and used death threats to extract pin numbers. They then gang-raped the young woman while her partner was forced to look on.