Article Library / 2015

2014-2015 Annual Assessment

An anti-Semitism metric can be neither precise nor complete if it does not take into account how Jews experience reality in their own countries. Does an increase in negative attitudes toward Jews prevent them from living full professional lives? Does it tear at the fabric of the local Jewish community? Does a rise in anti-Jewish incidents lead to the desire to emigrate? And from another perspective, we may ask, “Are Jews paranoiac, and how seriously should their feelings of discomfort be taken?”

A three-dimensional index would allow and encourage us to more closely and accurately investigate the various measures of anti-Semitic attitudes and incidents as well as Jewish feelings to assess their true import, and to obtain a more accurate picture. Each measure is in relationship with, and compared with, the others so as to arrive at its true significance.

Applying JPPI’s three-dimensional index to Europe shows this. The three-dimensional measurement examines anti-Semitism in several European countries and comes to unique conclusions:

  • While the scope of anti-Semitic incidents in Great Britain is higher than in France (for every 1,000 Jews), French Jews are more worried about what is happening around them.
  • Although the scope of violent anti-Semitic rallies in Germany is larger than in any other European country, German Jews feel safe and do not see anti-Semitism as a serious problem in their country.
  • Some 49 percent of French Jews are considering emigration — they no longer feel safe as Jews in their country — German Jews trust the German government to protect them.

These feelings correspond with the low rate of negative attitudes toward Jews in Germany, and the fact that anti-Semitic acts and opinions come from the fringes of German society and are not widespread among the elites. In contrast, there is widespread anti-Semitic discourse among elites in France, and deeply entrenched anti-Semitism in large segments of the population (84 percent of Muslims). Thus, taken together with recent extremely violent incidents (the attack on the Jewish school in Toulouse or the kosher grocery in Paris), French Jews do not trust their government to protect them, and feel excluded from full civil participation in the country.

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