Reports of anti-Semitic incidents up by 80% in 2018

The Centre for Equal Opportunities Unia received 101 reports of anti-Semitism in 2018. This is around 80% more than the 56 reports of anti-Semitic incidents that Unia received in 2017. The figures appear in an article in Saturday’s edition of the daily ‘De Morgen’. 

Unia’s Bram Sebrechts told VRT News that there is a general trend of more hate being vented both on the internet and on the street.

“A number of group are being stigmatised, amongst them Jews”.  

But what specific forms is the anti-Semitism taking?

"Anti-Semitism takes many form. For example there were face-to-face confrontations in Jewish areas. Swastikas were painted on garage doors and the windows of a Jewish school were smashed. But there was also more negationism”.

There was a fourfold increase number of cases of online anti-Semitism reported.  

If we look at the figures over the past ten years were see that they fluctuate considerable. Although the number of anti-Semitic incidents reported last year was well up on 2017, it was still lower than in 2009 (109), 2014 (130) and 2016 (109).  

“The figures are linked to current affairs. For example if something happens in the Middle East or if there are attacks here at home”, Mr Sebrechts added.

The issue of anti-Semitism is not unique to Belgium, neighbouring countries are also confronted with hatred toward Jews.