Israel, sensing antisemitism will only worsen, Knesset recommends easing absorption of threatened Jewish communities
One-in-four European Jews (26 percent) experienced anti-Semitic harassment at least once over the past 12 months, and one-in-three (34 percent) were targeted in the last five years.
Five percent of the victims reported that their property had been destroyed because they are Jewish, and seven percent suffered physical injury or were threatened with physical harm.
Forty-to-fifty percent of Jews in France, Belgium and Hungary said they are considering emigration because they now feel unsafe.
These were the results of a recent survey conducted among Jews in nine European countries by the European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights. Those figures were included in an annual assessment report to the Israeli Knesset by the Jewish People Policy Institute.
The report concluded that Jews in Europe are pessimistic about the future much more than they are willing to admit, and that Jewish people across the continent feel threatened. According to the report, Jewish life in Europe might be at another turning point.
Recently, 200-300 Jewish families left France for Montreal, Canada, and another 120 families migrated to London. New York City now has two large French Jewish communities, and over 50,000 French Jews have arrived in Israel since 1990.
Attempts over the past couple of years to further restrict Jewish life in Europe – for instance by banning circumcision, ritual slaughter of animals and Jewish burial rites – do not bode well.
Nor does the Israeli government necessarily expect the situation to improve.
Instead, the recommendations of the Knesset are to ease the ingathering of threatened European Jewish communities by removing barriers to employment and social integration, and by improving the absorption process of Jewish immigrants into the Israeli army.
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