A report released on the eve of Yom HaShoah, the day Jews mark the deaths of the 6 million victims of the Holocaust, states that anti-semitic attacks and incidents around the world spiked in 2012.
The report asserted that violence and vandalism against Jews rose 30 percent last year. In 34 countries, there were a total of 686 attacks in comparison to 526 in 2011. Of those 686 attacks, 273 were violent physical attacks.
In Toulose, France, a Muslim gunman shot a rabbi and three Jewish children to death. The attack was cited as a trigger for a series of attacks around the world; in France alone, the attacks doubled.
Ultra-nationalist parties in Europe such as Jobbik in Hungary, Golden Dawn in Greece, and Svoboda in Ukraine rose to greater prominence in 2012. There were some who suggested that the spike came as a result of Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza last November.
Roni Stauber, the chief researcher on the project which was a joint study by Tel Aviv University and the European Jewish Congress, disagreed. He noted little correlation with the Gaza battle and a much greater correlation between the Toulose attack and what followed it. He stated, “This shows that the desire to harm Jews is deeply rooted among extremist Muslims and right-wingers, regardless of events in the Middle East.”
Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, urged European countries to decry the anti-semitic parties: “Neo-Nazis have been once again legalized in Europe. They are openly sitting in parliaments.”
“If they do not protect their own population against neo-Nazism, with all the lessons Europe had already, maybe there is no place for them in the European Union,” he warned.
Per his request, the European Parliament is planning hearings on anti-Semitism in Hungary; the Parliament’s president, Martin Schulz, has been candid in his denunciation of anti-Semitism in Europe.