Czech / 18-05-2016

2015 Antisemitism report

Source: CFCA

The number of displays of hatred for Jews remained as high in the Czech Republic in 2015 as in the preceding year, and reached 221, the Czech Federation of Jewish Communities (FZO) says in a report.


In 2014, the number reached 234.


Hatred was mainly spread via the Internet, the annual report says.


The rising number of issued books is dangerous, since the revenues from their sale may help finance extremist groups' activities, the report says.


"Although the Jewish community in the Czech Republic was not a target of terrorist attacks...we view this threat as very serious in the world context and we have adjusted our security measures accordingly," FZO Secretary Tomas Kraus said.


Nevertheless, the report says the Czech Republic still ranks among the countries where antisemitism is present only marginally.


It says antisemitic books have mainly been issued by the ABB publisher linked to Adam B. Bartos, chairman of the ultra-right extra-parliamentary National Democracy (ND), and also the Guidemedia etc publishing house that issues translations of Nazi texts.


Last year, re-editions of older antisemitic books appeared as well as new texts focusing on conspiracy theories and the Holocaust denial, the report says.


Conspiracy theories are a new phenomenon that has emerged in connection with the migrant crisis. Their main motif is the Jewish-organised refugee flow to Europe, the consequent destruction of Europe and its values, and the gradual taking of control of Europe, the FZO writes in the report.


In 2015, the FZO also registered attempts at the economic and cultural boycotting of Israel, which is a new form of antisemitism, the report says.


The forms of displays of hatred to Jews in 2015 were similar to those in previous years, including letters, e-mails, verbal attacks, harassment in the vicinity of Jewish sites, desecration and vandalism.


No physical attack on people was registered last year, compared to one in 2014.


Five attacks on property were registered, the same number as in 2014.


The number of threat cases dropped to three and of harassment rose to 31.


Displays of hatred on the Internet were the most frequent like in the previous years. They made up 182 (82 percent) of the total of 221 incidents, the report says.


The articles and comments tend to be more and more often spread on social networks and blogs instead of traditional websites.


For example, a community "We Don's Want Jews in the Czech Republic" appeared on Facebook, which Facebook eventually removed at the critics' request, the FZO writes.


The FZO's data may differ from those released by other institutions, which limit displays of antisemitism to acts that can be qualified as crimes.


According to the Interior Ministry's report, the police registered 47 crimes with antisemitic subtext, two more than in 2014. Most of them were displays of support for movements aimed to suppress human rights and freedoms.