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With concerns about antisemitism growing, particularly in light of recent terrorist attacks on Jewish sites in France, Belgium and Denmark, there is a growing need to understand precisely what is going on.
As part of that effort, JPR conducted a thorough examination of existing data in early 2015, which resulted in the publication of an important study on the topic, Could it happen here? What existing data tell us about contemporary antisemitism in the UK, written by Dr Daniel Staeatsky and Dr Jonathan Boyd. Following that study, we have been looking closely at the question of how best to monitor antisemitism going forward, and are working closely with key partners to develop our programme going forward.
In addition to this work, JPR continues to mine the data from a major survey commissioned by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), entitled Perceptions and experiences of antisemitism among Jews in Europe. As the largest known dataset on European Jewry, it serves multiple purposes, and we are working with it to maximise its value, particularly to national governments and Jewish community organisations operating at a national or local level.
JPR won the right to conduct the study in a competitive tender process, and it was conducted in partnership with Ipsos MORI in nine EU Member States: Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The aim of the survey was to provide EU institutions and Member States with comparable data, for the first time, on how Jews experience and perceive antisemitism, hate crime and discrimination in Europe.
As well as gathering first-hand examples of antisemitic violence and harassment, it also investigated the extent to which Jews feel safe and secure in Europe today, how they characterise antisemitism and whether or not they perceive it to be a growing threat. It further explored how and whether incidents are being reported and levels of awareness among European Jews about their legal rights.
JPR delivered its report to the FRA in December 2012 and the survey results were published by the FRA in late 2013. The results have been used to enable EU Member States to assess the prevalence of antisemitism in their country and to develop policies to combat antisemitism going forward. The data have provided important evidence both for European Union and national policy makers, as well as for national and European Jewish organisations concerned with security and antisemitism.
The FRA's publication only reports the data comparatively (i.e. how each of the countries surveyed compares to one another), and for practical and methodological reasons, there is a strong case to examine the data for each country separately. To date, we have published two such country reports: one on the UK, published in July 2014, and a second one, investigating the situation in Italy, which was published in February 2015. We hope to produce further reports, and aim to do so subject to funding.