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Poll: 91% of Hungarian Jews say anti-Semitism up

An online poll of over 5,000 Jewish citizens taken by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in nine European countries including Hungary shows nearly an across-the-board perception of recently rising anti-Semitism throughout the continent.

In Hungary, some 91% of over 500 respondents opined that anti-Semitism has increased in the country and 30% reported they had directly experienced anti-Semitism in the previous 12 months – “top” scores in both categories.

Overall, over 75% of respondents stated that they do not report such harassment to law enforcement and 22% reported “avoiding Jewish events or sites” altogether.

Other findings in the survey included:

• Fear or avoidance altogether of wearing Jewish garments in public was reported by 49% of respondents from Sweden and by 40% of those from France.

• When asked whether anti-Semitism was on the increase in their country, great majorities in France (88%), Belgium (87%) and Sweden (80%) affirmed so. Latvian respondents agreed at the lowest rate in the survey at 39%.

• Overall, some 64% of respondents stated that perpetration of physical assault on their persons went unreported; of these, two-thirds explained that such reportage was “not worth the effort” or “ineffective.”

• 27% percent of all respondents stated that perpetrators of anti-Semitic incidents were Muslim. Another 22% blamed citizens of the left wing, while 19% blamed right-wingers.

In reporting the results to the Kiev-based conference entitled From the Beilis Trial to Berlin and Beyond, former Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe for fighting anti-Semitism (ADL/OCSE) director Gert Weisskirchen stated emphatically, “The results show that a majority of European Jews are experiencing a rise in anti-Semitism.”

Ukrainian MP/conference organizer Oleksandr Feldman appealed with “Individual states need to address anti-Semitism not for the sake of the current generation, but to prevent the worsening of the situation for the following one.”

The poll was conducted in Hungary, Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Romania and Sweden; full results will be released next month.