New report finds anti-Semitism on the rise in Czech Republic

The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the Czech Republic doubled last year, the Jewish community said Wednesday.

In its annual report, the Federation of the Jewish Communities said there were 694 anti-Semitic attacks in 2019 compared with 347 in the previous year.

A majority of the attacks — 95% — were registered on the internet, often on disinformation websites, far-right media and produced by activists involved in an international campaign to boycott Israel.

The Jewish community said there were three attacks on Jewish property last year and six other incidents involved anti-Semitic threats, harassment and verbal insults. No physical attack was registered in 2019.

An unknown attacker damaged a monument in Prague’s main train station which children saved by Sir Nicholas Winton from Nazi death camps unveiled in 2017 to honor their parents.

The Briton arranged eight trains to carry 669 children, most of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia through Germany to Britain at the outbreak of World War II in 1939. He died in 2015 at age 106.

The children were sent to foster parents. Back home, most of their parents died in the Holocaust.

The report, however, said the Czech Republic remains a safe country for Jews and anti-Semitism is at a relatively low level compared with other European countries.

From 2019: Violent antisemitism continues to be rare in the Czech Republic

The Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic, the country’s EJC affiliate released its annual report on antisemitic incidents in the Czech Republic for the year 2018.

According to the report, 347 antisemitic incidents were recorded in the country, including two cases of antisemitic physical aggression, three cases of vandalism of Jewish property and nine cases of threats were reported.

The report states that despite the fact that many incidents are unreported, violent antisemitic incidents continue to be rare in the Czech Republic

Nevertheless, the rise in antisemitic incidents in the Czech Republic was particularly obvious on the Internet in 2018, especially on social media where the number of antisemitic articles, social media posts, anonymous comments and discussion posts has been constantly increasing for a long time. These cases represent almost 93% of all recorded incidents.

There was an increased number of incidents recorded in May 2018 following the move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and the subsequent unrest in Gaza.

Cases of ‘new antisemitism’ (applying to Israel standards of behavior that are not applied to other democratic states, or collectively accusing Jews of the actions of the State of Israel) accounted for less than 29% of all recorded incidents.

The report applies the Working Definition of antisemitism approved by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). Since January 2019, the Czech Parliament adopted a resolution on the Definition of antisemitism.

In comparison with other EU countries, antisemitic violence and discrimination continue to be rare in the Czech Republic and regarding antisemitism, the country remains a safe place for the Jewish community.

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