1 in 4 European Jews afraid to wear kippah, Jewish symbols in public, survey shows

Survey conducted among 5100 Jews; in France 40% of Jews surveyed said they avoid wearing such items in public.

By JTA
October 16, 2013 17:07
1 minute read.
The Eiffel Tower, Paris.

Eiffel Tower Paris France 370. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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A quarter of respondents in a major survey of Jews from nine European countries said they avoid visiting places and wearing symbols that identify them as Jews for fear of anti-Semitism.

Fear of wearing a kippah and other identifiably Jewish items was especially strong in Sweden, where 49 percent of 800 respondents said they refrained from such actions, in a survey conducted this year among more than 5,100 Jews by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.

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In France, 40 percent of approximately 1,200 Jews said they avoided wearing such items in public, followed by Belgium with 36 percent, according to preliminary results from the survey, obtained by JTA.

In total, 22 percent of respondents said they avoided “Jewish events or sites” because of safety concerns.

“The results show that a majority of European Jews are experiencing a rise in anti-Semitism,” Gert Weisskirchen, a former representative of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe for fighting anti-Semitism, said Tuesday at a conference in Kiev.

The survey, which began Sept. 3, 2012 and closed last month, was conducted online in France; Britain; Belgium; Germany; Sweden; Italy; Hungary; Romania and Latvia. The full report is due to be published next month in Vilnius.

In Hungary, 91 percent of more than 500 respondents said anti-Semitism has increased in the past five years. That figure was 88 percent in France; 87 percent in Belgium and 80 percent in  Sweden. In Germany, Italy and Britain, some 60 percent of respondents identified a growth in anti-Semitism, compared to 39 percent in Latvia.



Figures for people who said they had experienced an anti-Semitic incident in the 12 previous months were 30 percent for Hungary; 21 percent for France and 16 percent in Germany.

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