The 22nd annual Anti-Semitism Worldwide Report by the Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry in Tel Aviv University, published in collaboration with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), was published on Monday ahead of Yom HaShoah, which begins on Monday evening, April 17.
The report states that Chareidi Jews are the main target of physical anti-Semitic attacks in the West, such as hitting, spitting and throwing objects. The report is based on an analysis of dozens of reported physical attacks in New York, where the largest number of such attacks occurred in the US in 2022, in London, where the largest number of such attacks occurred in Europe, and other cities throughout the world.
According to the report, the physical attacks occurred in a small number of areas in major urban centers, mostly on the street or on public transportation rather than near shuls, and most are not premeditated.
Chareidim are the main victims not only because they are easily identifiable as Jews, but also because they are perceived as vulnerable and unlikely to fight back.
“The research indicates that more policing and indictments in a limited number of urban spaces in various countries in the West may lead to a significant decrease in the number of violent anti-Semitic attacks,” said Prof. Uriya Shavit, the head of the Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry. “The fight against anti-Semitism must include more measurable and transparent practical goals and less declarations and shouts of ‘Gevalt.'”
“It was very disturbing to hear from Chareidim in Stamford Hill that they accept anti-Semitism as part of living in exile,” said Dr. Carl Yonker, a senior researcher at the center.
Jonathan Greenblatt, the global CEO of the Anti-Defamation League said: “The data in the report published today is very worrying. It is troubling to see the significant increase in anti-Semitic incidents and various trends in the US and other countries. There were no specific events in 2022 that could be linked to the rise of anti-Semitism, which indicates the depth of the hatred of Jews worldwide.”
The report shows that in 2022 there was a significant increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the US and other countries, alongside a decrease in other countries. The Anti-Defamation League recorded 3,697 anti-Semitic incidents in the US compared to 2,717 in 2021, which was a record year in itself. The New York Police Department recorded 261 hate crimes against Jews in 2022 compared to 214 in 2021, the Los Angeles Police Department – 86 compared to 79, and the Chicago Police – 38 versus 8.
According to the authors of the report, a disturbing trend of the “normalization of trolling” was evident in the American public discourse. The number of incidents of the spread of anti-Semitic propaganda by followers of white supremacy in the USA increased almost threefold since 2021.
The report’s editors noted that a certain increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in 2022 compared to 2021 was also recorded in Belgium, Hungary, Italy and Australia, among others. In Belgium, 17 anti-Semitic attacks were recorded compared to three in 2021.
Prof. Shavit and Dr. Yonker stated that the record data for 2021 was mainly attributed to the social tensions created by the COVID pandemic and the response to Operation Guardian of the Walls in Gaza, and hence the data for 2022 indicate that the roots of the current wave of anti-Semitism are deeper, especially in the USA. They point to three intertwining factors: increasing social and cultural tensions; the rise of the radical right and the radical left at the expense of the political center; and the proliferation of “echo chambers” on social networks where conspiracy theories are spread as undisputed truth.
In a review of Russia, the report notes that in the past year, alarming anti-Semitic statements by those close to Putin’s government have been recorded, along with the continuous cynical use of the memory of the Holocaust by the Russian regime. These raise the fear that Russian Jews will become scapegoats for the regime’s military failure. “Fascists are never reliable allies for religious minorities and the protection of human rights,” the report noted.
The in-depth articles in the report discuss, among other things, the entry of two small anti-Semitic parties into the upper house of the Japanese parliament, and the harsh anti-Semitic propaganda that the Houthis in Yemen have begun to spread. “In 2022, it again became clear that anti-Semitism does not need the presence of Jews or direct rivalry with Israel to find supporters,” the report noted.
Other in-depth articles in the report discuss the failed coup attempt by an anti-Semitic group in Germany, the differences between anti-Semitism in the contemporary American radical right and white American anti-Semitism in the past, anti-Semitic currents in the Black Hebrew movement in the USA, and the legal battle for the freedom to spread anti-Semitic propaganda in the USA.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)