Tuesday, 16 Jul 2019 - 13 of Tammuz, 5779

New EU report: 41% of young European Jews have considered emigrating because they did not feel safe living in Europe as Jews

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While the importance of ‘’supporting Israel’’ in the identities of young Jewish Europeans is less significant than for their elders, 85% of young Jewish Europeans report that people in their countries accuse or blame them for anything done by the Israeli government at least ‘’occasionally’’

BRUSSELS—41% of young European Jews have considered emigrating because they did not feel safe living in Europe s a Jewish person, shows a new  report published Thursday by the European Commission.

This new report, which is a  joint publication by the European Commission, the London-based Jewish Policy Research Centre (JPR),  and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA),  focuses on how young Jewish Europeans see their future as Jews, and how they experience Antisemitism.

The findings,  which are  based on data from the FRA  survey presented last December,  also show that , 45% of young Jewish Europeans choose not to wear, carry or display distinguishable Jewish items in public because there are concerned about their safety.

More than 2,700 young Jewish Europeans aged 16-34 were polled for the FRA survey ‘’Experiences and perceptions of antisemitism’’ in twelve European countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom) where over 96% of the EU’s estimated Jewish population live.

Many young Jewish Europeans face antisemitic harassment in Europe, but are also very resilient as they clearly express their Jewish identity, finds the survey.

Based on FRA’s survey data, the European Commission report shows that:

  • 81% of the young Jewish Europeans declared the strength of their Jewish identity to be high;
  • Four in five of the young Jewish Europeans say that antisemitism is a problem in their countries and believe it to have increased over the past five years;
  • 81% of young Jewish Europeans believe racism is a problem in their countries and 74% perceive an increase specifically of anti-Muslim hatred;
  • Remembering the Holocaust remains the most important factor to determine the Jewish identity of young Jewish Europeans (95%);
  • While the importance of ‘’supporting Israel’’ in the identities of young Jewish Europeans is less significant than for their elders, 85% of young Jewish Europeans report that people in their countries accuse or blame them for anything done by the Israeli government at least ‘’occasionally’’;
  • 44% of young Jewish Europeans experienced antisemitic harassment, which is 12% higher than their elders. 80% of young victims do not report harassment to the police or any other authority;
  • 45% of young Jewish Europeans choose not to wear, carry or display distinguishable Jewish items in public because there are concerned about their safety.
  • 41% have considered emigrating because they did not feel safe living there as a Jewish person;
  • 48% feel that their government is adequately protecting them and only 17% consider that they are combating antisemitism effectively.

EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourova commented the survey results : “Young Jewish Europeans are very attached to their Jewish identity. I am saddened that they fear for their security in Europe, do not dare to wear a kippah and some even consider emigrating.’’

She added : ‘’We need to act fast to combat antisemitism in Europe and join our efforts to keep our youth safe. We want young Jewish people to grow up in Europe feeling they fully belong here. Antisemitism is a threat to our European values. This is why we made fighting it a priority and work closely with Member States to ensure they are fully part of our Union.”

The new report was suggested to the European Commission by the European Union of Jewish Students (UEJS).

‘’This survey tells us that young Jewish Europeans hold strong and positive Jewish identities alongside alert and passionate European Identities. To be able to make this case, with evidence – both within the broader Jewish community and of course to the public as a whole is an enormous achievement,’’ noted Alina Bricman, president of the EUJS. ‘’The other story this survey tells, is that young Jewish Europeans are by far the likeliest to experience antisemitism. It is the challenge and absolute responsibility of the EU and national governments to step up the game and take concrete and measurable action against this. Only so will young European Jews be able to continue to tell this important story of Jewish pride and European diversity,’’ she added.

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