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Anti-Semitism in the European Union: Country Reports

(Updated December 2003)

Bringing together data on current or recent events poses special problems, mainly because in most cases the results of investigations undertaken by state organs take a long time to become available. In addition, the data collection takes place under severe time pressure, and scientific studies covering the monitoring period are often yet to be presented.

Furthermore, the NFPs in the individual Member States are faced with very different starting conditions as to the collation of data on anti-Semitic incidents. In Greece, Spain, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Finland there is neither a specific recording of anti-Semitic incidents by the police or responsible state security agencies, nor NGOs, which specialise in the collection of such data. In these countries the information comes almost exclusively from Jewish organisations and the media. In other countries, such as Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, no data from state agencies was available at the time this report was compiled (data collated by state agencies is mostly published annually, in the second half of the following year); however, at the same time there exist networks of NGOs in these countries which deal with racism and anti-Semitism and, besides the aforementioned data sources, collect and provide information. Finally, there are countries, like Germany and Austria, in which state agencies record and classify anti-Semitic crimes according to specific categories; here, too, there are also numerous NGOs and research institutions dealing with racism and anti-Semitism.

In addition, with the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith and the American Jewish Committee there are organizations, which monitor anti-Semitic incidents worldwide, commission polls on current public opinion and media analyses, and immediately publish (reports, Internet) their findings. The Stephen Roth Institute (Tel Aviv) and the Institute of Jewish Policy Research (London) also compile national reports on anti-Semitism covering almost all EU Member States, whereby these reports are naturally first published one or two years later.

The data was collected essentially through the following methods:
– Inquiries at the police, state security agencies and ministries of the interior
– Interviews with or questions posed by telephone/in writing to Jewish organisations
– Inquiries at NGOs which have specialised in monitoring racism and anti-Semitism
– Analysis and evaluation of the media (newspapers, TV)
– Research on the Internet
– Evaluation of research studies, media analyses, opinion polls.

A detailed description of sources used can be found in the Annex “Reporting institutions and data sources”.

For this Synthesis Report, the Center for Research on Anti-Semitism (CRA), Berlin, unified and supplemented the submitted NFP reports. Furthermore, the attempt was made to balance out the different evaluations provided by the NFPs on anti-Israeli prejudices. Some NFPs have not classified anti-Israeli prejudices as anti-Semitic, whereas others have very precisely distinguished between a criticism of Israel that is not to be evaluated per se as anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli stereotypes which clearly utilise anti-Semitic prejudices. In compiling the Synthesis Report the CRA was able to draw on surveys, data and some media and Internet sources published after the deadline for submitting the NFP reports. These sources provided additional information on the individual countries. Furthermore, to be able to identify trends and developments over time, the CRA studied materials on anti-Semitic incidents prior to 2002 for the individual countries. Based on anti-Semitism reports up to 2001 and other sources, the aim of this presentation was to provide a context for the evaluation of the monitoring period.

Also the CRA had to compile reports for two countries on its own: neither the National Focal Points from the Netherlands nor from the United Kingdom provided reports. The differing length of the individual country reports mirrors not only the degree and frequency of anti-Semitic attacks and prejudices in the individual countries (Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom), but also the intensity of monitoring by institutional and state agencies and the sensitivity towards anti-Semitic incidents.

Sources: C.R.I.F. - Released by the European Jewish Congress