Researchers at Tel Aviv University released a study showing that while violence against Jews decreased in 2013, anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe, particularly amongst youth, the Associated Press reports.
This annual report is released just ahead of Sunday evenings start of Israel's Holocaust memorial day. It includes numbers related to attacks against people as well as vandalism against synagogues and cemeteries. They recorded a total of 554 violent anti-Semitic acts in 2013, according to the report. Compared to the previous year, these attacks declined by 19%. However, similar numbers have been recorded over the last decade.
France claims 116 of the violent acts, making them the worst offender. The research states that anti-Semitism is becoming more and more acceptable among the youth. It states that a gesture called a "quenelle" (invented by French comedian Dieudonné) is used to show anti-Semitic sentiment and is gaining in popularity through spreading across the internet. It has been described as a form of a Nazi salute. This gesture has gone viral across Europe. According to Wikipedia, photographs of French athletes on the field can be seen using the gesture as well as French soldiers who have been photographed in front of synagogues or places where Jews have been murdered.
Some insist it is anti-establisment over anti-Semitic. But the youth treat it as just another viral game -- posting pictures of the quenelle in class or at parties. They can even rank quenelles. Yes, there's an app for that.
A picture of Adolf Hitler describes how to make the gesture out of the Nazi salute:
The AP report quotes Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress:
This infection of public anti-Semitism is going on and spreading all over. Ten years ago, who would have imagined someone doing the quenelle in front of the gates of Auschwitz?