US State Department's World Religious Freedom Index: Trouble in Europe, Anti-Semitism on Rise
The US State Department has released its annual report on International Religious Freedom for 2011. The study looks at how well or how poorly countries around the world protect the right to worship freely. It tends to shine a light on the discrimination and harassment many religious minorities face around the globe. Israel generally got high marks, but the report did note some problem areas. For Jews living outside Israel, the situation is growing more disconcerting. The report found a global rise in Anti-Semitism, especially across Western and Eastern Europe. Growing nationalist movements in Europe that rail against the quote "other" have increasingly made Jews a target in 2011, the US State Department report found. An openly anti-Semitic nationalist political party in Hungary was singled out...its worth noting the report doesn't cover the last six months...today there are anti-Semitic parties popping up in France, Greece and the Netherlands... In Europe, the old traditional forms of baseless hatred towards Jews are coming to the fore again, the report noted. Conspiracy theories, the revival of the ancient blood libel, cartoons demonizing Jews and acts of desecration and assault have all been reported. The Ukraine and France were highlighted as particularly problematic countries...the deadly attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse happened in March...the State Department's report only seems to confirm an atmosphere of growing anti-Semitism that led a Muslim extremist to ...