Anti-Semitic incidents at decade high in 2021: report
Holocaust survivor Mark Khazanov wipes his eyes after lighting a memorial candle during an annual remembrance ceremony for victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution hosted by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC on April 9, 2018 SAUL LOEB AFP/File

An average of more than 10 anti-Semitic incidents occurred around the world every day last year, a 10-year high, said a report published on Monday.

Nearly half of the incidents took place in Europe, with the United States following at 30 percent, said the report from the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Canada and Australia saw a "surprising" increase in incidents compared to previous years, according to the report which did not offer further information on the rise.

But while the numbers show that 2021 was "the most anti-Semitic year in the last decade," at the same time "no Jew in the world has been murdered on anti-Semitic grounds" over that period, the report said.

The semi-governmental Jewish Agency is the executive branch of the World Zionist Organization.

Published ahead of international day of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust, on January 27, the report notes that most of the anti-Semitic incidents were "vandalism and destruction, graffiti, and desecration of monuments, as well as propaganda."

It added: "Incidents of physical and verbal violence accounted for less than a third of all anti-Semitic incidents."

Such episodes and attacks peaked during May, when Jewish and Muslim festivals led to clashes in Israel and a war with Hamas, the Islamist rulers of Gaza, the report said.

In addition, many European countries lifted their pandemic lockdowns that month, which allowed anti-Semitism that spread online "to move around the public space again," the report said.

"Many demonstrations against the Covid vaccines and restrictions included Holocaust motifs, such as the yellow star, as well as anti-Semitic conspiracy theories accusing Jews as spreaders of the pandemic to control the world," the report said, expressing concern over the "trivialization of the Holocaust".

The United Nations General Assembly last week adopted an Israeli-German non-binding resolution calling on all member states to fight against Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism, especially on social media.

The Holocaust saw the genocide of six million European Jews between 1939 and 1945 by the Nazis and their supporters.

© 2022 AFP