Anti-Semitism on the rise across the globe

Anti-Semitic prejudice and violence are on the rise across the globe with two incidents recorded in the United Kingdom and the United States of America in the last two days.

A synagogue and several shops in north London were dubbed with anti-Semitic graffiti during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.

The Star of David, a Jewish holy symbol, and 9 11 were spray-painted in Hampstead and Belsize Park on Saturday, referencing a conspiracy theory.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said on Twitter: “This makes me sick to my stomach” adding that “anti-Semitism like this” had “no place anywhere and certainly not in London”.

He also said that residents could expect more police patrols in the area.

In the United States, no fewer than five people were injured in Monsey, north of New York City on Saturday when a man, who was later arrested in New York’s Harlem area, burst into a house, which was hosting a Hanukkah celebration, pulled out a large knife and began attacking people.

He has since been charged with attempted murder.

A research by the Vienna-based European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) said anti-Semitism is growing in the European Union. 

“We have observed an increase in acts of violence against Jews in certain countries,” Ioannis Dimitrakopoulos, a scientific adviser to the FRA, says, adding that “the kind of anti-Semitism that permeates these societies makes Jews feel they cannot live like others and that they cannot live as Jews in their home countries.”

In February, nearly 100 graves at a Jewish cemetery in eastern France were desecrated with Nazi swastikas, prompting a visit by President Emmanuel Macron to the village near Strasbourg, where he told community leaders: “It’s important for me to be here with you today.”

France has the biggest Jewish community in Europe with about 550,000 people.

A 2018 FRA survey found that 65% of French citizens and 43% of Germans consider anti-Semitic incidents a “very serious problem.” In Italy, however, only 21% shared the view, while merely 14% of Danes said they thought this was problematic.

Most cases of anti-Semitic harassment were registered in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, according to the FRA.

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