Reality Check

Auschwitz 75 years on: Are anti-Semitic attacks rising?

Graffiti at a Jewish cemetery in France Image copyright Getty Images

There have been references at the commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz about the resurgence of anti-Semitism.

Most of the data on this comes from individual countries, which are not necessarily comparable, but there has also been some broader work.

For example, the latest report from Tel Aviv University's Kantor Center on anti-Semitism worldwide, found the number of major violent incidents in 2018 had been at a relatively high level. However, it was still well below the levels seen around the times of Israeli conflicts in Gaza in 2008-9 and 2014, for example.

Major violent anti-Semitic incidents worldwide

Source: Kantor Center

The Kantor Center's definition of a violent incident also includes arson, threats and vandalism.

In Europe, the EU's agency for fundamental human rights has conducted a recent survey of 16,395 people who identified as Jewish across 12 EU member states.

It found that 89% of respondents said that anti-Semitism had increased over the last five years in the countries in which they lived.

It also found that 40% of respondents feared a physical anti-Semitic attack.

Individual countries

The most recent figures from the UK's Community Security Trust found there had been 892 anti-Semitic incidents in the UK in the first six months of 2019. This was the highest total for the first six months of any year, although that was partly because of better reporting of online incidents.

Home Office data suggested that Jews were the second most commonly targeted group for religious hate crime (after Muslims) with 1,326 offences in 2018-19, up from 672 the previous year. Classifying hate crime by perceived religious target is a relatively new thing and only became compulsory in 2017-18.

In France, the National Human Rights Advisory Committee reported 541 anti-Semitic incidents in 2018, which was a considerable increase from 311 the previous year, but well down from peaks in 2014, 2009 and the early 2000s.

German police recorded 307 anti-Semitic crimes in 2018, which was up from 233 the previous year.

In the US, the Anti Defamation League (ADL) tracks anti-Semitic incidents. It found there had been 1,879 in 2018, which was slightly down on 2017, but still at a historically high level.

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