Report: Anti-Semitism doubles in 2009

Anti-Semitic incidents around the world doubled in 2009 over the previous year, posting their worst year since monitoring began two decades ago, according to a new survey.

The total number of anti-Semitic incidents was 1,129 in 2009, compared to 559 in 2008, according to a report released April 11 by the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University.

The record number of incidents — cases that show clear anti-Semitic content and intention — included 566 acts of vandalism of Jewish property, which constituted 49 percent of all incidents. Hundreds of incidents against Jewish people and property did not meet the criteria, according to the institute. Some incidents also go unreported.

In Europe, Britain and France led with the number of incidents, according to the report. There were 374 violent acts against Jews recorded in Britain in 2009, compared to 112 in 2008, according to the institute. France saw 195 attacks in 2009 compared to 50 the previous year. Britain and France have the highest Jewish populations in Europe, as well as the largest Muslim populations.

Only 78 incidents of anti-Semitic violence were recorded in 1989, the year the institute began recording such events. In 2009, some 41 of the incidents were armed assaults directed at Jews because of their religion; 34 were arson, according to the report.

The report was compiled and released in cooperation with the European Jewish Congress. — jta