In preparation for International Holocaust Memorial Day, which takes place on Wednesday, January 27, Minister of Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett presented the government of Israel with a report detailing a 2015 overview of anti-Semitism in the world.
According to the report, the past year saw a record number of Jews emigrating away from Western European countries. The BDS movement is gaining strength in Europe, and is promoting the boycott of Jewish events and representatives, not just of Israel.
According to the report, 57 percent of French Jews are considering a move to another country. Seventy-five percent of Jewish students in US colleges have experienced, or were witnesses to, anti-Semitism. 2015 saw a 61 percent rise in anti-Semitic crime in London, and the years 2014 and 2015 were record years for anti-Semitism in Britain.
According to the statistics over 40 percent of EU citizens hold anti-Semitic views of some sort. They agree with the idea that Israel is conducting a war of annihalation on the Palestinians, or the idea that Israel is behaving like the Nazis did. EU leadership and its member states have reportedly been ignoring this for over a decade.
Eastern Europe hasn’t fared much better. Jews in Russia and Ukraine are presented as being of dubious loyalty by the media, and authorities are not making efforts to fights anti-Semitism. The memorial site at Babi Yar in Kiev has been desecrated six times during the past year, with no real response from authorities.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in response that “this is a very important and meaningful report. Anti-Semitism still exists and is becoming more and more vicious. I call on the international community to act in opposition to anti-Semitism and harshly condemn any anti-Semitic act.
“It’s unacceptable that 70 years after the Holocaust we still see anti-Semitism in full swing. With past events in mind, we need to assure that this disaster will not be repeated, and that is precisely the responsibility of the European Union and UN, who are staying silent in the face of these worrisome statistics.” The prime minister instructed everyone involved to strengthen Israel’s PR and education in opposition of anti-Semitism.