Saturday, November 09, 2013

Tonight Is 75th Kristallnacht Anniversary; New Data On Antisemitism In Europe and U.S. Released

A statement (full text) issued yesterday by President Obama points out that tonight marks the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht-- the violent Nazi-party inspired anti-Jewish pogroms carried out in 1938 in Germany and German -annexed territory in Austria and Czechoslovakia. Kristallnacht marked a turning point that led to ever-increasing anti-Jewish actions by the Nazi regime. Yesterday, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights released a new report titled Discrimination and Hate Crime Against Jews in EU Member States: Experiences and Perceptions of Antisemitism. Several related publications were also released.This is the first report to collect comparable current data across 8 EU countries-- Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the United Kingdom.  These countries are home to 90% of EU's Jewish population. Among the key findings were:
66% of respondents consider antisemitism to be a major problem in their countries, while 76% said the situation had become more acute over the last five years.
21% of all respondents have experienced an antisemitic incident or incidents involving verbal insult, harassment or a physical attack in the 12 months preceding the survey. 2% of respondents had been victims of an antisemitic physical attack over the previous year.
In related developments, the Jewish Museum Berlin hosted a conference last night and today titled Antisemitism in Europe Today: the Phenomena, the Conflicts. A Haaretz op-ed criticized organizers for scheduling the conference on the Jewish Sabbath, thereby effectively precluding participation by observant Jews.  And, according to JTA, earlier this week a German hotel, the Kristall Sauna Wellnesspark in Bad Klosterlausnitz, in the former eastern German state of Thuringen, apologized for the ad it had run promoting a "long, romantic Kristall-Nacht" on November 9.

In the United States, the ADL on Oct. 28 released its 2013 Survey About Attitudes Toward Jews In America. It concluded that 12% of Americans have deeply entrenched anti-Semitic attitudes, a 3% decline from the last poll in 2011.  Meanwhile, the New York Times reported earlier this week on the extensive anti-Semitic harassment of students in the New York State Pine Bush Central School District.