The level of anti-Semitism has been low and stable in the Czech Republic for the past few years, unlike in other European countries, says an annual report on anti-Semitism symptoms in the country in 2011 that the Jewish Community released on May 3, 2012.
The document was worked out by its security centre based on information from the persons affected by anti-Semitic action and from information available to the public. "No significant deviation either in the number of incidents or their character was registered in 2011," the centre said. The figures are almost the same as in 2010.
Last year, the centre registered five anti-Semitic attacks on property and one on a person. A similar attack was previously registered in 2008. The report also mentions three cases of threatening and one of harassment. These included a swastika painted on a Holocaust memorial and another one on a synagogue.
In 2011, the centre also monitored seven anti-Semitic web pages and 19 articles, video-recordings and pictures. There were five more in 2010.
The police registered 16 acts with anti-Semitic motives last year, 11 of which were investigated on suspicion of support to and promotion of movements leading to the suppression of freedom, two as incitement to racial and ethnic hatred, one as violence and threatening, one as defamation of race or nation, and one as vandalism (by spraying), the report noted.
The situation in the Czech Republic is very favorable for the Jewish minority, the centre says in its assessment. Czech society has traditionally had rather a positive attitude to the Jews unlike its stance on a number of other minorities, the report says.
According to its authors, another reason might be the fact that the Jewish community in the Czech Republic is relatively small compared to the Western countries and that its members cannot be identified at first sight. As of 2005, there were approximately 4,000 Jews living in the Czech Republic. This compares to the approximately 100,000 before the Nazi occupation, and according to the 1930 census, when the Czech Republic was combined with Slovakia in Czechoslovakia, there was a Jewish population of 356,830.
The ultra-right wing tried to revitalize its activities last year, but its scene is splintered, the report said. Moreover, it adds, the issue of anti-Semitism has become a certain taboo for rightist extremists. Over negative reactions of the public, extremists rather highlight their anti-Romany stances and "the fight against the System."
The Czech right-wing extremist scene is no imminent threat to the safety of Jewish communities, the report concludes. Apart from the conservative Catholics, anti-Semitic statements were also made by a member of the Czech Muslim community. This concerned a sermon from 2009, but the news of it spread only last year.