Belgium / 11-11-2013
Antisemitism intensifies in Belgium
This is the feeling among the vast majority of the Jews who live in our country.
88% of Belgium Jews feel that in the course of the recent years antisemitism has intensified in our country. Only in countries like Hungary and France is there a higher number of Jews feeling the increase of antisemitim.
This is what emerges from a survey of the Center for Equal Opportunities and Struggle against Racism which was conducted among eight Jewish communities in eight European Union countries on the 75 anniversary of “Kristallnacht”.
77% of those who responded to the survey who live in Belgium consider anti-Semitism a severe and serious problem in their country (compared with 65% average), 10% of whom have suffered since 2008 from incidents of physical violence or threats because of their being Jewish. 70% of them believe that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “has implications on their sense of security in Belgium”.
The surge of antisemitism in the last few years is manifest particularly in an increase of 42%, between the years 2011 and 2012, in reports of allegedly antisemitic actions that were received in the Center for Equal Opportunities and Struggle against Racism.
Another finding emerging from the survey is that most of its participants who were victims of assaults motivated by anti-Semitism did not report the most severe cases to the police during the last five years. According to 85% of the survey responders, the internet is the preferred channel for disseminating antisemitism, this according to a statement of the Center for Equal Opportunities and Struggle against Racism, which received a considerable part of the reports via the internet.
In addition, noted Patrick Charlier, the Center Deputy Director, “The main sites where antisemitic discourse is conducted are the online newspaper forums and Facebook.”
In Belgium, 70% of the survey responders believe that antisemisim is expressed also through the media, this compared to 59% on average of the responders in other countries.
“Cases of verbal violence are more infrequent in relations to antisemitic-type messages disseminated over the internet, but they are not less “worrisome,” added Mr. Charlier.