A new report jointly released by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League and Human Rights First says member states in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are not living up to their commitments to fight anti-Semitic hate crimes.
The “Scorecard on Hate Crime Response in the OSCE Region” notes hate crimes continue to go unreported in the participating member nations — which include the United States.
In addition, those nations also consistently fall short on their commitments to combat hate crime, the report notes.
Both Human Rights First and ADL have developed recommendations for the United States to aid its European allies in combating the rise of anti-Semitic and extremist violence, specifically in France, Germany, and Hungary.
“There has been a rise in anti-Semitic hate crime,” in some OSCE countries, the report notes, adding the trend “can be traced to both incitement from neo-fascist groups and the growth of violent Islamist extremist groups.
“Anti-Semitism is a virulent thread that runs through the ideologies of many extremist groups, even though their world views converge on little else.”
The report analyzes data submitted by countries to the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
However, the report provides a partial picture because many countries either do not collect such data or fail to transmit their findings to the ODIHR on a timely basis, the ADL notes.
OSCE member states need to make reporting a higher priority, given the current refugee crisis, the rise of far-right parties and movements espousing hatred, and the increase in hate crimes, the ADL said in its statement to media.
Only 36 of the 57 participating States submitted information to the ODIHR for 2014. Half of participating states either did not report at all or reported zero crimes for their country. “This is simply not acceptable or credible,” the ADL said.
In Austria, anti-Semitism is at its highest levels in years, according to data analyzed by the local Forum Against Anti-Semitism.
Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz reacted to that news, published this week, by saying “Jewish life must be protected in Austria” and said it was the government’s responsibility. But he offered no concrete plan to address the problem, nor aid to the Jewish community so that it might seek private security to protect itself.
In the UK, a Muslim candidate in the race for mayor of London spoke on April 6 about the rampant anti-Semitism among members of his party. Sadiq Khan said that he knows what it is to suffer “hate crime,” and “unacceptable in 2016 that there is anti-Semitism in the Labour party.” He vowed to remedy the situation, saying “If it means members of my party, senior members … being trained about what anti-Semitism is, then so be it.”
Just four days later, (April 10), two young Orthodox Jewish teens were verbally attacked by a man shouting “Kill the Jews!” and other anti-Semitic epithets at them and yelling “Allahu Akbar!” (God is Great! in Arabic) in the northern London Jewish neighborhood of Stamford Hill. The man then went on to approach other Jews in the same manner, until police arrived and arrested him.
In New York, the City University of New York (CUNY) has responded to a series of anti-Semitic incidents on its campuses by asking for recommendations from outside counsel, setting up a “working group” and also a “task force.”
There has been no concrete action taken against the perpetrators nor has a formal action plan involving police been implemented to protect Jewish students on campus.
In Ukraine, more than 100 Jews fled the country and immigrated to Israel this past February due to violence and frequent anti-Semitic attacks. They were assisted by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ). One of those who arrived in Israel told reporters he had switched schools three times as a child because of his ethnicity and recalled that his father could not go to university because he had a Jewish surname.
Hana Levi Julian