Mass exodus of Jews from Europe feared after reported rise in Antisemitism
It is feared there will be an exodus of Jews from Europe, due sharp increase in Anti-Semitism across the continent, particularly in Germany.
Anti-Semitic crimes are at a five-year high in Germany, more than any other country in Europe, according to a new report.
Dr Moshe Kantor, the president of the European Jewish Congress, warned of an exodus occurring:
"If hundreds of thousands of Jews leave the European Union, which is becoming a very strong possibility, then it will be judged a failure," he said yesterday in Brussels.
"Over the past few years, tens of thousands of Jews have left Europe to seek a safer home elsewhere, and today, one-third of Europe's nearly 2.5 million Jews are considering emigration. Whole areas of Europe are being emptied of Jews and not enough is being done."
The EU vice president, Frans Timmermans, said the situation is worse than he would have predicted.
"In the last couple of years we have seen this age-old monster come up again in Europe, which is anti-Semitism.
"We Europeans, whenever we are in trouble, when there is a crisis, we look for people to blame and throughout the ages Jews have been on the receiving end.
"This is unacceptable. I thought we knew better. I wouldn't have thought this would be possible 20 years ago. But it is happening again."
In Germany, 1,596 hate crimes against Jewish people were recorded last year, which is the highest since 2009, reversing a long term trend of declining incidents.
Although Germany is the highest offender in Europe, EU officials warned against singling the nation out, as data collection was patchy in some countries.
Nonetheless, the increase from 1,275 crimes last year is cause for concern, indicating that the far-right still poses a threat to Jewish communities.
In France, the number of hate crimes towards Jewish people doubled to 815 compared with the year before. This is the highest number since 2004, and alarmingly the figures predate the terrorist attack on the Jewish supermarket in January.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland Community Security Trust found that 1168 hate crimes occurred, which is a 118 per cent increase from the previous year of 318.
Several EU member states did not publish data on anti-Semitic incidents causing concern.
"This lack of systematic data collection contributes to gross underreporting of the nature and characteristics of Anti-Semitic incidents that occur in the EU," the report said.