Mzansi Afrika

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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

EU report sees anti-Semitism on rise

Attacks on Jews have increased in several European Union states, especially in France, with the main perpetrators young, white males, an EU report said on Wednesday.

The report by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) contrasted with controversial findings of a

Berlin study last year which blamed young Arabs and Muslims predominantly for rising anti-Semitism.

"There has been an increase in anti-Semitic incidents in five EU countries," the EUMC said, citing Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Britain and Germany. "Although it is not easy to generalise, the largest group of perpetrators...appears to be young, disaffected white Europeans."

"A further source of anti-Semitism in some countries was young Muslims of North African or Asian extraction. Traditionally anti-Semitic groups on the extreme right played a part in stirring opinion," it said.

By far the biggest rise in anti-Semitic violence was in France, where incidents rose six-fold in 2002 over 2001.