Dan Lavie, Aiel Kahana, Eldad Beck and Eli Leon
Thirteen Jews were murdered in anti-Semitic attacks in 2018—the most since the Jewish community center bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994, the Diaspora Affairs Ministry said in a report Sunday.
The report also cited record levels of anti-Semitism on the streets and online, which saw a significant uptick after the U.S. embassy was relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and the Hamas-orchestrated “March of Return” protests along the Israel-Gaza border.
Iran was still the world’s worst offender in terms of anti-Semitic expressions, and remains the main perpetrator of spreading incitement and Holocaust denial.
Europe and the United States also saw an increase in Jew-hatred, and unlike previous years, anti-Semitic violence was mostly perpetrated by neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
In Western Europe, right-wing parties continued to amass public support amid the immigration and refugee crisis. In these countries, the report said, “anti-Semitism went up a level and became more prevalent and trivial.”
In France, a two-year trend of decreasing anti-Semitic incidents saw a disconcerting reversal, with a 69 percent increase in the number of incidents. Germany also recorded an increase of anti-Semitic incidents, as did Great Britain.
In the United States as well, there has been more anti-Semitism. In January 2018, Jewish university student Blaze Bernstein was murdered, followed by a consistent rise in anti-Semitic attacks, including hate crimes on college campuses, and culminating in the Tree of Life synagogue mass shooting in Pittsburgh.
Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett presented the report at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.
“It is Israel’s responsibility to help our millions of brothers and sisters in the Diaspora against the rise of anti-Semitic crimes,” he said. “2018 was a record year for anti-Semitism in the streets, online and in the political arena across the globe.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CNN on Sunday that there was a “new anti-Semitism in Europe, which comes from the extreme left and pockets of radical Islam on the continent.” According to the prime minister, these groups “disseminate lies and slander about Israel.”
The idea that Jews don’t have a right to their own country is the most fundamental form of anti-Semitism, said Netanyahu.