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JEWISH GRAVES in Ukraine. .(Photo by: REUTERS)
Half of FSU Jews in rural areas have experienced antisemitic attacks
According to a study by the Institute for Euro-Asian Jewish Studies, 47% of Jews who live in small towns or rural areas have experienced antisemitic attacks first hand.
Almost half of the Jews who live in small towns or rural areas across the Former Soviet Union have experienced antisemitic attacks first hand, according to a study by the Institute for Euro-Asian Jewish Studies (IEAJS).

The study was presented on Wednesday at the Oxford Summer Institute run by the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy, which describes itself as the first academic research center on antisemitism in North America.

According to the research, Jews who live in big cities are much less likely to have encountered antisemitism, with 15-26% saying they have, as opposed to 47% of those from rural areas or small towns.

Over 2,000 people eligible to immigrate to Israel under the Israeli Law of Return in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova have been interviewed.

In Ukraine, 19% of the respondents said that the level of antisemitism has significantly risen in recent years; in Russia and Belarus, 7% of respondents said so.

The study found that the most common categories of antisemitism detected in the FSU countries were acts inspired by Judeophobia, incitement to hostility against Jews, media-sponsored public antisemitism, and antisemitic stereotypes. Moreover, violations of the public ban on antisemitism and ethnic discrimination by institutions in the public sphere surfaced.

“The departure from the state antisemitism of Soviet times and a reduction of the level of violence motivated by antisemitic views do not mean that antisemitism as a cultural phenomenon has vanished in these countries. The majority of xenophobic groups in FSU society feature ‘latent’ or ‘sleeping’ antisemitism,” said Ze’ev Khanin, the Academic Chairman of the Institute for Euro-Asian Jewish Studies.

The study was carried out with the support of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress.

“The Euro-Asian Jewish Congress is systematically monitoring antisemitic incidents and discourse in the FSU region,” said EAJC President Michael Mirilashvili.

“We consider this painful issue an essential problem of the modern world and call on leaders and influencers in the FSU region to confront and condemn antisemitism for what it is - disgusting, ignorant, and extremely dangerous bigotry,” he added.

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