July 5 (UPI) — Discrimination and anti-Semitism continues to be a significant problem for young European Jews and the situation could be getting worse, a new report by the European Union says.
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights announced results Thursday of a survey of 2,700 European Jews aged between 16 and 34 and found 44 percent have experienced harassment due to their faith.
Despite the discrimination, the report said, 81 percent said the strength of their Jewish identity is high. Eighty percent said anti-Semitism is a problem that must be addressed and has gotten worse in the past five years. Eighty-five percent said they’re blamed, at least occasionally, for some action of the Israeli government.
“Anti-Semitism in Europe remains a stubborn stain that refuses to go away,” FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty said in a statement. “We owe it to all Jews, and particularly future generations, to erase this blot once and for all through the coordinated action at the EU and national level working hand-in-hand with Jewish communities.”
While many Jews continue to proudly identify their religion, the survey found 45 percent of respondents don’t wear the proper religious clothes out of fear of discrimination or harassment.
“I am saddened that they fear for their security in Europe, do not dare to wear a kippah and some even consider emigrating,” EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vera Jourova said.
“We need to act fast.”
Ninety percent of respondents said hate speech on the Internet is also a substantial problem.
Of those who reported harassment, 80 percent said they don’t report it — and less than half said their government is adequately protecting them. Just 17 percent said their governments are effectively fighting the problem.
The survey also found 74 percent believe there’s been an increase in hatred of Muslims.