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Survey: 51% of European Jews feel unsafe wearing Jewish symbols in public, 27% feel generally unsafe

A troubling international survey of Jews has highlighted the worrying effect that antisemitism is having on Jewish communities in Europe.

A survey conducted by the World Zionist Organisation showed that many respondents felt unsafe as Jews, particularly in Europe. 51% of European Jews said they felt unsafe displaying Jewish symbols in public, whereas 27% responded that they felt unsafe generally.  A third had witnessed an act of antisemitic vandalism.

The answers whilst troubling, do not surprise us in the slightest. We have watched as antisemitism in many European countries has spiralled out of control, with authorities often out of their depth when dealing with antisemitic crime.

Outside of Europe, the picture is less worrying, although it still leaves serious cause for concern. In America, 22% of Jews said they felt unsafe displaying Jewish symbols in public and 11% said they felt generally unsafe. These figures, whilst not as bad as those in Europe, are still unacceptably high for a developed country in the 21st century.

The survey also highlights the importance of reporting incidents to the authorities. The majority of those who said they had been the victim of or witnessed an antisemitic incident did not report it. 6% said they feared for their safety if they complained to the police, whereas 30% said they did not want to make a big deal out of it. 42% said they lacked faith in the authorities to deal with it appropriately. Such scepticism of the authorities is not entirely unwarranted. In the UK, Campaign Against Antisemitism was forced to take the Crown Prosecution Service to Judicial Review, whereas court proceedings across the continent have demonstrated an abject failure in dealing with antisemitism, including a German court that ruled that firebombing a Synagogue was not antisemitic. Nonetheless, when an incident is not reported, it is often the case that no action or investigation will take place.