For years, antisemitic prejudice and violence have been on the rise in the European Union. Wednesday’s attack on a synagogue and two passers-by in the area by a self-confessed far-right extremist in the east German city of Halle is just the tip of the iceberg.
According to research by the Vienna-based European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), antisemitism is growing in the bloc. “We have observed an increase in acts of violence against Jews in certain countries,” Ioannis Dimitrakopoulos, a scientific adviser to the FRA, says, adding that “the kind of antisemitism that permeates these societies makes Jews feel they cannot live like others and that they cannot live as Jews in their home countries.”
He says “aside from the horrific crimes perpetrated in Halle, the harassment, verbal abuse and belittling of Jews has become ‘normal’ in some European societies today — that is a deeply worrying trend.”
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(Photo, of graffiti in a Sofia street in September 2017: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)