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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 March, 2004, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
Anti-Semitism 'on rise in Europe'
Desecration at a London synagogue
Attacks against synagogues have been documented
Attacks against Jews in Europe have sharply increased, says a report by a European anti-racism watchdog.

The study singles out Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Britain, where it says the rise in anti-Semitism has been of particular concern.

Other countries, including Ireland and Portugal, showed little sign of any rise in attacks, the report says.

It identifies "young, disaffected white Europeans" as the key culprits followed by North African or Asian Muslims.

The report urges European states to co-operate more closely to fight racism.

It suggests school text books should be checked for bias and teachers trained to increase awareness of race issues.

Most Jewish people wish to be a recognised equal part of European societies and to live in good relationships with their neighbours
EUMC report
Publication of this latest report follows controversy over the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia's (EUMC) decision to shelve a similar study last year.

That led the heads of the World and European Jewish Congresses, Edgar Bronfman and Cobi Benatoff, to accuse European officials themselves of being anti-Semitic.

Anti-Jewish attacks ranged from hate mail to arson in the incidents catalogued by the EUMC in 2002 and the first quarter of 2003.

In the UK there were there were violent attacks on two synagogues in 2002 and in 2003 there were two cases of suspected arson and several attacks on Jewish cemeteries.


France's statistics suggested a "significant" rise in anti-Semitic violent incidents and threats in 2002 - six times as many as in 2001.

There were "many incidents of Jewish people assaulted and insulted, attacks against synagogues, cemeteries and other Jewish property, and arson against a Jewish school," the report said.

The report also highlights member states where there is little evidence of any increase in anti-Semitism - such as Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Finland.

EUMC director Beatte Winkler said: "It is clear that anti-Semitism manifests itself with greater strength in some countries than in others, and where relatively reliable statistics are kept, there is evidence of an increase in the regularity of these incidents over the past two or three years.

"Such a conclusion is reached in the case of Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands and the UK.

"The aim of this report is to provide accurate data and information which can start a debate in Europe on how to counter anti-Semitism, and lead to effective policies across the Union."

EU vows to tackle anti-Semitism
19 Feb 04  |  Europe
Anti-Semitism row halts EU forum
06 Jan 04  |  Europe
Desecration of the dead
08 Dec 03  |  Magazine

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