Report: Attacks Against Jews Spiked 38 Percent

Most incidents occurred in Western Europe

Researchers at Tel Aviv University found that anti-Semitic incidents around the world spiked 38 percent in 2014, most of which occurred in Western Europe.

The annual report from the Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry released Wednesday cites 766 incidents of violence against Jews, including armed assaults and vandalism against Jewish schools, synagogues, and cemeteries. That is a 38 percent increase since 2013, which saw 554 cases worldwide. 

The report states that the increase in violence is partly linked to the July-August war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza,  as well as a "general climate of hatred and violence" promoted by the aggressive propaganda campaign of the Islamic State.

The dramatic rise in violence, the report states, has left many Jews, particularly in Europe, feeling like "they are facing an explosion of hatred toward them as individuals, their communities, and Israel, as a Jewish state." Last year's surge took place primarily in Western Europe, but also included an increase in incidents in the U.S.:

As in past years, the highest number of attacks was reported in France, which saw 164 incidents compared to 141 in 2013. In Britain there were 141 attacks, up from 95, and in the United States there were 80 incidents versus 55, including a shooting at Jewish sites in Overland Park, Kansas, that killed three people.

Some western European countries saw even greater increases, with the number of incidents more than doubling in Germany, Belgium, Austria and Sweden. The attacks also target individuals more frequently, with 306 cases involving people as victims, a 66 percent increase.

The report points out that the 766 incidents of violence last year is the second most in the past decade, trailing only 2009, which was likewise marked by a conflict in Gaza.