Vigilante ‘Justice’ Targets Europe’s Migrants

More disturbing news from Europe:

Bürgerwehr has become a dirty and irritating word to the German authorities, especially since the New Year’s sex assaults in Cologne last year prompted a rash of vigilantism.

“It is not for Bürgerwehren or self-appointed hobby sheriffs to play at being the police,” Minister of Justice Heiko Maas warned last year, pointedly calling out those who were clicking “attend,” or otherwise loudly making plans to start patrolling neighborhoods at night, apparently on a mission to “bring back order” to inner cities.

Most of those announcements ended up being a lot of talk with little action. Still, gang violence in its most basic form seems to have taken on new inspiration: Last fall, a gang of four beat a 41-year-old acquaintance to death in front of a disco in provincial Waldbröl after getting drunk one night and going into town with baseball bats and some sort of vague plan to “hunt refugees.” Asked to explain the motive in court, one of the accused claimed that he was taking revenge for a girl who had been harassed.

In the United States, they used to call this lynching, with the reasons given often very much the same. And Germany isn’t the only European country that’s had trouble with self-appointed “hobby sheriffs” inventing themselves as “migrant hunters.” Finland has the anti-immigrant street patrol group Soldiers of Odin. And along the southern Bulgarian land border to Turkey there have been numerous incidents of vigilante groups detaining migrants, beating and humiliating them—and sometimes making a show of it in the process.

This year, prosecutors tried and failed to charge 31-year-old Peter Nizamov for “arresting“ three Afghan migrants, in the sense that he and his gang (they call themselves “Civil Squads for the Protection of Women and Faith”) cornered the three travelers, proceeded to rob them and beat them, then tied them up and shouted at them, in broken English, to go back to Turkey.

The state attorney should have had an easy time getting a six-year prison sentence for Nizamov. There was no question about the facts. He had posted a video of the event on Facebook, probably anticipating that it would be a great hit with his followers. And it was. Indeed, the flurry of “likes” was predictable—Bulgaria is mainly a transit country for refugees heading to Northern Europe, and the government itself has taken a harsh line on immigration, using the kind of rhetoric usually reserved for far-right fringe parties.

Then, in March this year, the court decided to acquit Nizamov. The police, who likely expected he would just brag the way he did when he gave an interview to national broadcaster bTV while under house arrest and confess to the charges, had done a sloppy job in gathering evidence: They hardly even bothered (and failed) to find the three Afghans to come to court and testify. And the TV confession was not replicated in court.

Source: Vigilante ‘Justice’ Targets Europe’s Migrants

Dual citizenship in Europe: Which rules apply where?

Ongoing German dual citizenship debate, likely prompted by concerns of Turkish campaigning under Erdogan’s authoritarianism, along with a summary of the policies of other EU countries:

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrat Union (CDU) aims to tighten citizenship laws. At the CDU conference last December, party officials launched a debate on possible restrictions on dual citizenship. The subject of the dispute is what is known as the “obligation option,” which means that children of immigrants obtain both nationalities at birth, but must choose one when they reach the age of 23. In 2014, the coalition government agreed that children born and raised in Germany would be allowed to keep both nationalities as adults.

Infografik doppelte Staatsbürgerschaft Europa ENG

German news magazine “Der Spiegel” reports that the CDU plans to campaign against dual citizenship. “We must make far-reaching changes to the policy of the exceptions,” Cemile Giousouf, the chairman of the CDU’s integration network, told the magazine. A paper that will be integrated into the CDU’s election platform suggests that grandchildren of first-generation immigrants may only have German citizenship.

Merkel rejected the demands in December. According to “Spiegel” she is now ready to back a new regulation, probably as a consequence of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s verbal attacks on German politics and the fact that many Turks living in Germany identify with the Turkish president.

Essen CDU-Bundesparteitag Rede Merkel (picture-alliance/dpa/K. Nietfeld)‘I don’t think we are having an election over dual citizenship,’ said Merkel in December.

France

Most EU states, including France, now allow dual citizenship. French nationals have had the right to dual or multiple nationalities since 1973. In 2009, France stood against the first article of the European Council’s “Convention on the Reduction of Cases of Multiple Nationality and on Military.” The aim of the agreement was to “to reduce as far as possible the number of cases of multiple nationalities, as between member states.”

In France, “jus soli,” meaning birthright citizenship, is practiced. Anyone who is born in France is granted French citizenship regardless of the parents’ nationality.

Sweden

For a long time, Sweden, like Germany, adhered to the “avoidance of dual citizenship” principle. A law adopted in 2001, however, allows Swedish nationals to apply for a different nationality without losing their Swedish passport, provided that the laws of the country permit this. In turn, immigrants in Sweden do not necessarily have to give up their foreign citizenship when they are naturalized.

The sociologist Thomas Faist sees Sweden as a potential role model for other countries. Two passports are seen “not as a problem, but rather as a contribution to integration,” Faist told the German media agency “Integration.” Other Scandinavian countries have similar regulations. In 2014 Denmark passed a law which allows dual citizenship. In Finland, a similar law had already gone into effect in 2003. In Norway, however, dual citizenship is permitted only in exceptional cases.

Schweden Integration von Migranten Schulunterricht (Getty Images/D. Ramos)Sweden has long been a country of immigration, but it has tightened its asylum law in recent years

Central and Eastern Europe

Under the nationality law in Poland, Polish citizens cannot be recognized as citizens of other countries at the same time. The possession of a foreign passport, however, is tolerated. Polish citizens cannot avoid civic obligations by using a foreign citizenship to get out of them.

Ukraine does not recognize dual citizenship. Under current laws, newly naturalized Ukrainian citizens must give up other nationalities within two years. Some countries in Eastern and Central Europe, on the other hand, such as the Czech Republic and Romania are open to multiple nationalities. Bulgarian, Serbian and Croatian citizens are entitled to hold dual citizenship, but foreigners wishing to be naturalized must renounce their previous nationality.

Spain

In principle, Spain permits dual citizenship for immigrants from Portugal, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea and Latin American countries with which it has concluded dual citizenship agreements. According to the Spanish constitution, immigrants from other nations must renounce their foreign nationality if they wish to hold Spanish citizenship. Spanish citizens are entitled to dual citizenship if they inform the authorities within three years that they wish to keep their Spanish passport.

Depending on the country, laws differ throughout southern Europe. Monaco and Andorra, for example, prohibit dual nationality but in Portugal, it is permitted.

Source: Dual citizenship in Europe: Which rules apply where? | Germany | DW.COM | 28.03.2017

Europe’s high court rules workplace headscarf ban is not ‘direct discrimination’

Hard to see how this policy helps integration. Not as neutral as the Court ruled given that main focus was with respect to the hijab.

Will companies now also police any employee wearing a small crucifix?:

Private businesses in Europe can forbid Muslim women in their employ from wearing headscarves if the ban is part of a policy of neutrality within the company and not a sign of prejudice against a particular religion, the European Court of Justice said Tuesday.

Such a ban doesn’t constitute what Europe’s high court calls “direct discrimination.”

The conclusion by the highest court in the 28-nation European Union was in response to two cases brought by a Belgian and a French woman, both fired for refusing to remove their headscarves. It clarifies a long-standing question about whether partial bans by some countries on religious symbols can include the workplace.

The court’s response fed right into the French presidential campaign, bolstering the platforms of far-right leader Marine Le Pen, a leading contender in the spring election who wants to do away with all “ostentatious” religious symbols in the name of secularism, and conservative François Fillon, who hailed the court’s decisions. France already bans headscarves and other religious symbols in classrooms as well as face-covering veils in streets.

However, critics quickly voiced fears that the decision risks becoming a setback to all working Muslim women.

“Today’s disappointing rulings … give greater leeway to employers to discriminate against women — and men — on the grounds of religious belief,” said a statement by Amnesty International. “At a time when identity and appearance has become a political battleground, people need more protection against prejudice, not less.”

The Open Society Justice Initiative, which submitted a brief supporting the women, expressed disappointment.

“The group’s policy officer, Maryam Hmadoum, contended that the decision “weakens the guarantee of equality that is at the heart of the EU’s antidiscrimination directive,” which the Court of Justice cited in weighing the cases.

The European Court of Justice made separate decisions on the cases, but linked them.

In the Belgian case, Samira Achbita, a receptionist at a security firm, was fired in June 2006 for wearing an Islamic headscarf, banned in a new set of internal rules by her company that prohibited visible signs of their political, religious or philosophical beliefs. Belgium’s Court of Cassation sought guidance from the Luxembourg-based European court which rules on cases involving EU law, which applies to all EU members.

While the cases were linked by the European court, the French case differs and offers Asma Bougnaoui a reason for optimism because the reasons for her dismissal as a design engineer were based, not on internal rules, but on the complaint of a customer unhappy with her Islamic headscarf.

The court said that an employer’s readiness to take into account the wishes of a customer, not internal policy, don’t qualify for the measure set out by the European Union: a “genuine and determining occupational requirement.”

Source: Europe’s high court rules workplace headscarf ban is not ‘direct discrimination’ | Toronto Star

Keeping K2 (European Human Rights Court Decision on Citizenship-Stripping) in Perspective | Just Security

Good analysis of the impact of the recent ruling:

Strasbourg rejected as inadmissible an application by K2, a terror suspect born in Sudan but who acquired British citizenship by naturalization. At first glance this admissibility decision might seem to be of general significance but it is actually highly fact-specific and does not substantively address the single material general issue of principle raised by the applicant, i.e. the potentially discriminatory effect of the relevant citizenship-stripping laws. This is unsurprising since admissibility decisions – initial decisions about whether an application satisfies the stringent admissibility criteria and should proceed to be considered on its merits – are rarely of general significance, and this is especially so when, as in this case, the application is deemed inadmissible. It would be odd, therefore, if, as opined by the Guardian, the decision “is likely to encourage Home Office ministers to make greater use of their power to exclude terror suspects even if they are British citizens.”

Article 8

K2 complained that the Home Secretary’s decision to deprive him of his British citizenship violated his Article 8, ECHR right to respect for family and private life. The decision to deprive him of his citizenship was taken pursuant to the statutory power in section 40 (2) of the British Nationality Act 1981.

The ECtHR assessed this complaint by reference to established principles: by asking whether the revocation was arbitrary (i.e. was it in accordance with the law, was it accompanied by necessary procedural safeguards and did the authorities act diligently and swiftly) and by considering the consequences for the applicant.

The ECtHR held that the revocation was not arbitrary. The principal issue that it considered in this regard was the adequacy of procedural safeguards on the facts of the applicant’s case. The ECtHR also held that the consequences for the applicant did not violate his Article 8 rights because, for example, he was not rendered stateless by the deprivation of British citizenship (see here and here my 2014 posts on statelessness and citizenship stripping) and because his wife and child could visit him in Sudan or relocate there. The Article 8 claim regarding the decision to deprive K2 of his British citizenship was, therefore, held to be manifestly ill-founded. 

Similarly, the Article 8 claim regarding the Home Secretary’s decision to exclude him from the UK was manifestly ill-founded.

Article 14

K2 also complained that there had been a violation of the prohibition of discrimination in Article 14 (read together with Article 8). The ECtHR rejected this claim too.

It rejected K2’s claim that he had been treated differently from a non-national resident because he was denied an in-country right of appeal: the ECtHR held that the reason he had been denied the right of appeal was not because he was a British citizen but because he had chosen, voluntarily, to leave the UK.

More significantly, the ECtHR also rejected K2’s complaint that he had been treated differently from a British citizen considered a threat to national security but who did not hold a second nationality. However, the Court did not substantively address this complaint – essentially the only part of the case that could have been of general significance. The ECtHR rejected this complaint on the technical ground that K2 had not raised it before the domestic, English courts and he had, therefore, failed to exhaust domestic remedies (a pre-condition for a claim to be admissible before the ECtHR). Thus, the only material principled point in the case was not substantively decided.

Source: Keeping K2 (European Human Rights Court Decision on Citizenship-Stripping) in Perspective | Just Security

A glance at birthright citizenship regulations across Europe | US News

Useful if partial comparison:

As voters in Switzerland are deciding Sunday whether to make it easier for “third-generation foreigners” to get the country’s citizenship [passed], here’s a glance at how other countries across Europe are handling citizenship and birthright issues for immigrants of the first, second or third generation.

Different from the United States, where every child born on American soil automatically becomes an American citizen regardless of his or her parents’ nationality, being born in Switzerland doesn’t mean automatically mean becoming Swiss, a situation echoed in a few other European nations.

Germany:

Children of parents with foreign passports receive German citizenship at birth if one parent has lived in Germany for at least eight years and has unlimited residency status. The children also get to keep their parents’ citizenship. At age 21, they are supposed to choose one of the two nationalities. However, the obligation to give away one passport has in recent years been watered down by new regulations and there are a lot of exceptions to the rule meaning more and more children of foreign parents continue to keep their dual citizenships after their 21st birthday.

United Kingdom:

A child born in the United Kingdom is automatically a British citizen only if one parent is a citizen of, or settled in, the U.K.

A U.K.-born child without a parent who fits the bill can become a British citizen later — either if they live in Britain till they are 10; or if either parent becomes legally settled in Britain.

Italy:

Those born in Italy can ask, when they turn 18, to become an Italian citizen if they have continued to live in Italy since birth. The request must be formally made before the 19th birthday. It’s usually a straightforward process for these young people.

France:

All children born in France of foreign parents automatically gain French citizenship at the age of 18, if they live in France and have lived here for five years since the age of 11.

Greece:

In Greece there is no birthright citizenship. So if a child of foreign parents is born here, it doesn’t give them the right to Greek citizenship.

Czech Republic:

Birthright citizenship is only given to foreign children born in the Czech Republic if the parents are considered stateless or if one of the parents has a residency permit for a period longer than 90 days.

Spain:

Citizenship is automatically granted to children born in Spain who have at least one Spanish parent. If neither parent is a Spanish citizen, children born in Spain to legal residents can obtain citizenship after one year.

Multiculturalism is unpopular with the majority – even though it makes for happier societies : Democratic Audit UK

Interesting study looking at multiculturalism policies and their impact on majority populations in Europe:

With data from the European Social Survey for 14 western European states, we used multiple and logistic regression to investigate whether the eight “rights” areas within Banting and Kymlicka’s (2013) composite Multicultural Policy Index (MCP) differentially satisfied or unsettled members of the three self-identified groups.  The “rights” areas include: constitutional/legislative/parliamentary affirmation of multiculturalism; school curriculum; media sensitivity and representation; dress-code exemptions; dual citizenship; funding of ethnic group organisations’ cultural activities; bilingual education; and affirmative action.

To assess individuals’ unease and satisfaction, we looked at their sense of being in a group that is discriminated against, whether they felt safe walking alone locally after dark, their satisfaction with life and with the government.

We found that all but two of the nine measures of state multicultural orientation increase the majority’s sense that people like them are being discriminated against – even when background characteristics are controlled.  The impact is more consistent for the majority than for either of the self-identified minority respondent groups.  Multicultural policies affecting the school curriculum, media, dress-code exemptions, in the form of dual citizenship, in funding for ethnic group cultural preservation and in the form of affirmative action all increase the sense of discrimination indicated by majority group members.  They were also more likely to report lower feelings of safety when walking alone near home in states with greater multicultural orientation, even when background factors were controlled.  In particular, multicultural policies relating to the media, dress code exemptions and affirmative action had a negative impact on how safe majority groups felt.

Muslims were less likely to feel discriminated against in states with more pro-multicultural policies (after controls for background characteristics) and, in particular, where dress code exemptions were available and affirmative action policies in place.  At the same time, Muslims were more afraid of victimisation in countries with dress code exemptions, underscoring the precariousness of the religious minority’s position.  When their cultural lifestyle claims (to wear headscarves, for example) are legitimised, this increases their visibility and sense of vulnerability.

Our findings about satisfaction with life and with the national government show the complicated political terrain politicians face.  Majority group members are more satisfied with both in states that have embraced multiculturalism. These findings represent a quandary for political leaders, who face short-term pressure from nativists – but a population that, in the long term, will be unhappier if they take an isolationist approach. By making them available to everybody, politicians may try to avoid the negative reactions to multicultural policies that fan the flames of support for far-right parties.

But the growth in extreme-right support across Europe suggests that by backing away from a rigorous defence of multiculturalism, public officials left space for far-right groups, permitting majorities to feel justified in articulating their unease at the presence of minorities and dissatisfaction with the benefits intended to support them.  Xenophobia has moved to the fore. The claims made by Muslims and ethnic minorities who seek rights commensurate with their status as citizens in Europe, and asylum applications by migrants at risk of harm, are no longer seen as legitimate.

Europe’s pressing need for immigrant labour and population growth mean the political establishment and the press will have to change direction if they want to maintain current prosperity.  They will have to explain why global economic systems need diversity, and provide for the security of voters who feel that they have lost out to globalisation.  Programs to counter violent extremism (CVE) among young people who show signs of alienation from Europe should focus not only on Muslim youth attracted to Islamic State and al-Qaeda, but also on majority group members who show signs of violence against those of migrant background.  Broadening the focus of CVE programmes to all extremists is a logical and necessary step where mainstreaming has replaced multiculturalism in public policy.

Source: Multiculturalism is unpopular with the majority – even though it makes for happier societies : Democratic Audit UK

Europe’s Jews have reason to fear today’s political climate: Saunders

Interesting column by Doug Saunders:

To understand this, it’s worth following the work of Yascha Mounk, a Harvard University scholar. Mr. Mounk made headlines this week with a new study, co-authored with Roberto Stefan Foa at the University of Melbourne, which found that voters in most European countries and the United States are increasingly less likely to believe it is “essential” to live in a democracy. This effect is stronger among younger people and right-wing voters.

For Mr. Mounk, this is part of a larger phenomenon. Two years ago, he published Stranger in My Own Country, a memoir of his life as a young German Jew. It noted that the Christian Europeans around him, while professing liberal tolerance, were continuing to treat Jews such as himself as different, other or outside. In an essay titled “Europe’s Jewish Problem,” he linked these observations to the rise of the new right-wing populist movements.

“Europe’s political climate is more hostile to Jews now than at any time since the second intifada,” he wrote. But he concluded that it wasn’t Muslim anti-Semitism leading the trend; rather, it was the far larger populations of Christians. As he noted, the number of Spanish citizens who express unfavourable views of Jews is almost 50 per cent; Muslims make up less than 3 per cent of Spain’s population and aren’t growing fast. So “a European anti-Semite remains far more likely to be Christian than Muslim.”

The larger problem, he concluded, is “the tendency of wily politicians to play Jews and Muslims against each other for purposes of their own.”

A recent large-scale survey of French attitudes toward Jews by political scientist Dominique Reynié found that anti-Semitism in general is declining, but the country’s Muslims do indeed have higher rates of anti-Jewish beliefs than the general population. What really stood out, though, were the many people who support Marine Le Pen’s National Front party: They were even more likely than Muslims to agree with Jewish-conspiracy claims such as “Jews use their status as victims of the Nazi genocide for their own interest” or “the Jews are responsible for the current economic crisis.” And they were almost equally likely to support statements such as “there is a Zionist conspiracy on a global scale,” at rates twice as high as the general population. Muslims make up only 7 per cent of the population of France, but Ms. Le Pen commands at least one-fifth of the population, and her support is rising fast.

These parties and movements, Mr. Mounk concluded, attract those who are hostile toward both Muslims and Jews. “The very same revival of nationalism that has been fuelled by their invocation of Jews [as foils for their politics],” he wrote, “can, in this way, quickly turn into anti-Semitism.” And that, combined with a growing group of voters who don’t care about democracy, is something that Europe ought to fear.

Source: Europe’s Jews have reason to fear today’s political climate – The Globe and Mail

What France thinks of multiculturalism and Islam – The Washington Post

2300europemuslims-11-1024x799Some interesting polling data that sometimes gets lost in the rhetoric:

In the aftermath of a devastating attack in Nice, France, Poland’s interior minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, told reporters that the blame lay with the embrace of multiculturalism. “Have we not learned lessons from previous attacks in Paris and Brussels?” the Financial Times reported Blaszczak as saying. “This is a consequence of the policy of multicultural politics, and political correctness.”

A member of Poland’s controversial right-wing Law and Justice Party, Blaszczak’s point may be in bad taste. However, many around the world probably agree with it.

It’s certainly hard to disagree with the idea that France seems to be more embracing of multiculturalism than Poland. In a recently released study by the Pew Research Centerthat was conducted early this year, just 24 percent of French people were found to believe that diversity made France a worse place to live. A higher proportion, 26 percent, said it made France better, while 48 percent said that it didn’t make much difference.

These results appeared to show that France has one of the most tolerant, though also largely indifferent, attitudes to racial and ethnic diversity in Europe. Only Spain had a higher positive view of diversity. Meanwhile, in Poland, 40 percent of the population said that diversity was a negative, while only 14 percent said it could be a positive and 33 percent said it made no difference. Hungary, Italy and Greece were the only countries with higher negative feelings toward diversity.

The same poll found that France had a far more positive view of Muslims than much of Europe. Despite a series of terror attacks that were inspired by Islamic extremism, just 29 percent of French citizens were found to have a negative view of Muslims, while 67 percent had a positive view. While this was an increase of 5 percentage points over previous years, only Germany and Britain had more positive views.

Conversely, in Poland, 66 percent had negative views of Muslims, while only 19 percent said they had positive views. Hungary and Italy were the only countries with more negative views — 72 percent and 69 percent, respectively.

People in Poland were also far more likely to believe that Muslims in their country were supporters of groups like the Islamic State, a group whose supporters have cheered the attack on Nice but have not claimed official responsibility. Twelve percent of Poles were said to believe that “most” Muslims in their country supported extremist groups, and a further 23 percent said “many.” Just 12 percent said “very few” supported these groups. In France, 44 percent said “very few” Muslims in their country supported extremism, while just 6 percent said “most” and 13 percent said “many.”

And despite the perceived link between refugees from Muslim majority countries and terrorism that is widespread across Europe, Pew’s data showed that on the whole, French citizens were more concerned about economic factors.

Source: What France thinks of multiculturalism and Islam – The Washington Post

Europe’s citizenship tests are so hard not even citizens can pass – The Washington Post

Some great examples of European citizenship tests, which appear designed to keep people from becoming citizens rather than ensuring good basic knowledge and integration:

Critics of Europe’s citizenship tests have pointed out that they do not follow a common pattern or they are based on little research as to what questions are needed to distinguish migrants who are willing to assimilate from those who are not. And yet, they have the potential to determine the fate of thousands. Particularly amid the recent influx of migrants into Europe, there has been a renewed focus on a contentious question: How should a test that will help determine whether an individual can acquire citizenship look?

Source: Europe’s citizenship tests are so hard not even citizens can pass – The Washington Post

Rise in anti-Semitism in Western Europe, decrease in Eastern Europe: poll | i24news

Interesting findings and linkage to concerns over large-scale arrival of migrants and refugees:

A recent survey has revealed a rise in anti-Semitism in Western Europe, while at the same time there has been a decline in anti-Jewish sentiments in Eastern European countries.

The survey was conducted by the EJA (European Jewish Association) ahead of a discussion Wednesday on anti-Semitism in Europe at the Israeli Knesset’s Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora.

The poll found that 19 percent of Jewish communities – the vast majority of them in Western Europe (mainly in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Northern Ireland) – reported a rise in anti-Semitism.

In Antwerp, Belgium, one community reported a marked rise in antisemitism (5 on a scale of 5), while another community in the same city reported relative calm.

Communities in the Netherlands reported a rise in anti-Semitism (4 on a scale of 5), as did the Jewish community in Nancy, France.

However, some 9.5% of Jewish communities – the vast majority of them in Eastern Europe – reported a decline in anti-Semitism in the past year.

Around 66% of Jewish communities throughout Europe (East and West) reported a lack of real change in the level of anti-Semitism in the past year.

The survey was conducted last Thursday among a representative sample of communities in capital cities and outlying towns throughout Europe, from Belfast in Northern Ireland in the West to Tbilisi, Georgia in the East.

In cities where there are large concentrations of Jews (Paris and Antwerp, for example), the sample included a number of communities in the same city.

The survey comes just months after an annual study on global anti-Semitism found that the number of violent anti-Semitic incidents worldwide fell considerably in 2015, partly because the extreme right has been focused on Muslims.

Violent anti-Semitic incidents dropped more than 40 percent in 2015, but other kinds of anti-Semitic displays increased dramatically in Europe, stated the Annual General Analysis on Anti-Semitism Worldwide, published jointly by Tel Aviv University, Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry and the European Jewish Congress.

The report attributed the decrease to a number of factors, including an increase in security measures, the growing fear of terrorism that may increase sympathy for Jews targeted for violence, and the lack of a military confrontation involving Israel in 2015.

Another factor cited in the report was the flow of over a million immigrants and refugees to Europe in 2015, which caused a trend of anti-immigrant sentiment that has strengthened extreme right parties. In Scandinavian countries, extreme right sympathizers have been gravitating towards major centrist and right parties for practical reasons.

The extreme right has also in many cases pointed at Jews as the root cause of terrorism, claiming they fostered Muslim immigration in order to undermine European culture. “The Jews are depicted as directly responsible for the migration wave, either by causing the war in Syria and Iraq and by creating ISIS […] because of the wish to achieve the following goals: to destroy European racial identity, to incite Christians and Muslims against each other, to create a Middle East devoid of Arabs and Muslims and even to destroy western democracies in order to control them – an accusation which is a derivative of conspiracy theories. Jews are guilty of the Islamization of Europe by bringing in the refugees, and of the opposite as well, of Islamophobia, by allegedly misusing the anti-Muslim rhetoric in order to invoke support for Israel,” said the report.

Source: Rise in anti-Semitism in Western Europe, decrease in Eastern Europe: poll | i24news – See beyond