Twenty percent of British Jews have considered leaving the country because they do not feel safe, a shocking study has revealed.
The poll of nearly 6,000 European Jews also showed a similar percentage of British Jews had experienced insults, harassment or violence on account of their religion. The European Union review, which covered eight countries –including the UK –was published by the EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights and hailed by the Community Security Trust (CST) as “groundbreaking”.
Respondents in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the UK were asked their opinions on anti-Semitism as a day-to-day problem. Among the most surprising statistics, more than half of those polled said they had overheard someone saying the Holocaust was a myth or exaggerated and three-quarters said anti-Semitism was on the rise.
A CST spokesman said: “Opposing anti-Semitism in post-Holocaust Europe should be the most basic of human rights issues. Disgracefully, it is not.”
Meanwhile, across Europe, almost a third of those asked said they had considered emigrating because they did not feel safe. The poll also revealed significant country-to- country differences.
For example, three-quarters of French respondents said the Israeli-Arab conflict had impacted on their feeling of safety, but less than a third of UK Jews agreed. The extensive study was carried out by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR), the British outfit working in partnership with Ipsos MORI.
The team said anti-Semitic comments online were “particularly concerning” and highlighted the significance of European Jews reporting their fear of displaying Jewish symbols in public, something four out of five Swedish Jews said was a particular issue.
The poll’s authors added: “Jewish concerns and motives are misrepresented, treated with suspicion or simply lied about by supposed anti-racists, including sections of the media, trade unions and churches, where urges to attack Israel and so-called Zionists overwhelm other considerations. That some Jews embrace this corrupt enterprise merely deepens their comrades’ contempt for mainstream Jewish concerns.”
The study also detailed concern in France, where nine in 10 people said the situation had worsened in the past five years. There were also fears in Hungary, where half of those asked said they had seriously considered moving, fearing for their safety as a result of their Jewish identity.