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Czech Republic remains safe country for Jewish community, report finds

Prague, Czech Republic – Although the number of registered anti-Semitic acts doubled last year, the Czech Republic remains a safe country for the Jewish community, a new report found.

Registered anti-Semitic acts doubled last year

Nearly 700 cases of anti-Semitic acts and behaviour were registered last year by the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic, marking a two-fold increase compared to the 347 acts reported in 2018.

For more information, the full report is available here.

The report, which warns that the higher incidence of anti-Semitic acts does not necessarily mean that anti-Jewish sentiment is on the rise in the Czech Republic but could simply reflect a more comprehensive data gathering methodology, found no cases of direct physical violence against Jewish people, and only a few cases of verbal harassment or attacks against Jewish property.

In 2018, the Federation of Jewish Communities had found two cases of physical abuse and violence directly targeting Jews.

Number of anti-Semitic acts in the Czech Republic in 2018 and 2019
Source: Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic

Czech Republic a “safe country” despite rise in online hate-speech

More than 90 percent of anti-Semitic acts occurred online, according to the Jewish community, which notes that the increase is largely due to more frequent social media posts and anonymous comments made on the internet, particularly on disinformation and far-right websites or forums promoting fake news and conspiracy theories about Jews.

The report concludes that the Czech Republic remains a safe country for Jews, with anti-Semitism well below the levels observed in other European countries.

“The Czech Republic can be perceived as a country which is safe for the Jewish community”, the authors of the study write, “especially when compared with other countries in central and western Europe. Nevertheless, increased attention must be paid to manifestations of anti-Semitism in the internet environment”.

According to the latest global survey conducted by the US-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL), only 13% of the Czech population harbours anti-Semitic views, compared to more than 40% in Poland and Hungary.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.