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Violent attacks on Jews rose 40 percent in 2014: Study

London, April 18
Anti-Semitic incidents rose dramatically worldwide in 2014, with violent attacks on Jews ranging from armed assaults to vandalism against synagogues, schools and cemeteries, says a new study.

The annual report from Tel Aviv University in Israel recorded 766 incidents in 2014, mostly in Western Europe, compared to 554 in 2013 -- a surge of nearly 40 percent.

The report called 2014 the worst year for anti-Semitic attacks since 2009. The highest number of violent cases recorded in 2014 was in France, which saw 164 incidences, up from 141 in 2013.

In recent years, the country has consistently seen the most reported cases of anti-Semitic violence worldwide, the report said.

There was also a sharp rise in the number of incidents in Britain (141 in 2014, compared to 95 in 2013), Australia (30 vs. 11), Germany (76 vs. 36), Austria (9 vs. 4), Italy (23 vs. 12), and Sweden (17 vs. 3).

"The overall feeling among many Jewish people is that of living in an intensifying anti-Jewish environment that has become not only insulting and threatening, but outright dangerous, and that they are facing an explosion of hatred towards them as individuals, their communities and Israel, as a Jewish state," the authors wrote.

The researchers stressed that the controversy over Israel's operation in Gaza was used as a pretext to attack Jews.

"Synagogues were targeted, not Israeli embassies," professor Dina Porat explained.