Anti-Semitic Attacks Hit Five-Year High in Germany

Anti-Semitic crimes in Germany are at their highest level in five years, according to a new report that also highlights the country is seeing more incidents than any other European Union state.

The report, published by the EU's Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), found that there were 1,596 recorded hate crimes against Jewish people last year in Germany, the highest level since 2009. In 2014, the figure stood at 1,275 incidents.

1,342 of the perpetrators were classed as "right-wing", seven were "left-wing" and 176 were motivated by "foreign ideology", according to the report. The latter figure has risen from 31 in 2013.

The FRA warns that terrorist attacks in France and Denmark this year are part of a "climate of intolerance," and the FRA interim Director Constantinos Manolopoulos said, "There are many positive initiatives around the EU, but in the current situation this is not enough.

"The EU and its member states need to take immediate and decisive action to combat extremist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic discourse and crimes."

The report also takes into account unofficial data on anti-Semitic incidents recorded by the anti-discrimination Amadeu Antonio Foundation. The non-governmental organization has been collating reports in the German media and from projects and initiatives concerned with anti-Semitism since 2002. Their data shows that nearly three times as many incidents (173) were recorded in 2014 compared with 2013 (65).

"Existing evidence shows that anti-Semitism remains an issue of serious concern in the EU, demanding decisive and targeted policy responses," a statement accompanying the FRA report reads. "The effective implementation of these responses would not only protect Jewish communities, but also give a clear signal that the fundamental rights of everyone living in the EU are taken seriously and safeguarded."

The report also points out, in its annual overview of data on anti-Semitism in the EU, that the reliable and comparable figures vital to help tackle these types of crimes are currently unavailable in several member states, and urges authorities to have better systems in place to record such crimes.

The number of anti-Semitic actions and threats recorded in France doubled in 2014 to 851, compared with 423 incidents in 2013. According to the report, the highest incidence of anti-Semitic actions and threats last year was recorded in July in conjunction with the anti-Israel protests over the country's involvement in the Gaza conflict.