2020 Annual Assessment

  • Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have spiked in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their impact, however, has, so far, been limited.
  • Following deadly mass shootings by right-wing extremists, communal action plans for security are necessary.
  • The most important trend for Western political leaders to watch is the radical (far-right, neo-Nazi, Islamist, far-left) forces that exploit anti-Jewish prejudices to attack the liberal order.
  • The most important trends for Jewish policy makers to watch are developments within the alt-right movement and those on the left advocating measures inimical to Jewish thriving.
  • It is recommended that the Israeli government deal with anti-Semitism with an integrative body that has the authority and capability to carry out the task.

For several years, anti-Semitism has been measurably on the rise throughout the world. Between 2018 and 2019, the number of anti-Jewish incidents increased by 12 percent in the United States, 17 percent in Germany and 27 percent in France.1 In 2020, radical actors have leveraged the COVID-19 pandemic to spread conspiracy theories, and anti-Semitism is one of their preferred themes. Since last year’s Annual Assessment we have observed negative developments alongside positive and encouraging ones. In a context of mixed trends and considerable uncertainty, JPPI has developed its “Comprehensive Three-Dimensional Anti-Semitism Index” to weigh these developments.

This report includes four parts. The first presents major recent and long-trend developments, negative and positive. The second presents selected quantitative data (anti-Jewish attitudes, number of anti-Semitic incidents, perceptions of Jews in regard to their acceptance in the surrounding environment) from different countries. These figures are used to assess the impact of anti-Jewish hostility on organized and individual Jewish life. In the third part, we examine how the different developments and trends are interconnected. The final part lays out concrete directions for action.

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