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Anti-Semitic incidents on the rise globally: ministry report

People hold Israeli and Union flags outside the Royal Courts of Justice as Jewish groups rally in London on August 31, 2014, calling for "Zero Tolerance for Anti-Semitism"
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Germany saw the biggest increase with the number of incidents more than doubling

Anti-Semitic incidents increased globally in 2016, report published by the diaspora affairs ministry said Sunday ahead of Friday's international Holocaust remembrance day.

The findings of the 54-page report were presented by Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett at the weekly cabinet meeting.

In Germany, the number of incidents recorded more than doubled from 194 in 2015 to 461 during 2016, with the report attributing the spike to "the strengthening of right-wing movements," as well as the influx of refugees into the country.

In Britain the number of incidents rose by 62 percent.  Of these incidents 75 percent were said to have "originated from the extreme right," however, the report also mentioned the scandal embroiling the Labour party in which the party suspended 50 of its members in light of racist and anti-Semitic statements.

In the US there was a 42 percent increase in incidents reported on college and University campuses and a marked increase from radical supporters of Donald Trump related to inflammatory election rhetoric.

On campuses students and lectures were subjected to discrimination, anti-Semitic graffiti and swastikas, anti-Semitic messages and verbal and physical assaults. 

In the 10 days after Trump's victory, 867 hate crime incidents were recorded in the United States, including 100 involving anti-Semitism, a report by a US-based organization found.

There was, it said, a "rise in anti-Semitism in the presidential campaign" during which "the new right has grown".

France, meanwhile, showed a decrease in anti-Semitic incidents with 65 percent fewer reported in 2016, said the report.  

It credited the fall to Prime Minister Manuel Valls's 100-million-euro anti-racism and anti-Semitism action plan, but noted that the Jewish community in France remains uneasy.

"Despite the decline in anti-Semitic acts, Jews in France are not comfortable with the public expression of their Jewish identity," the report said.

A slew of incidents was reported on social media as well, with more than 40 million users exposed to English language anti-Semitic tweets during October of 2016 alone.

"This year we saw a dramatic increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents and the entry of anti-Semitic discourse into politics," Bennett said. "I call on governments to take action to combat anti-Semitism with determination; we see in countries where governments acted assertively against the agitators and violence, like France, a significant decline in anti-Semitism. We must act with great effort to ensure that Jews are able to live and thrive in the Diaspora."

(Staff with agencies)

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