• Contact EUJS or your national Jewish student We can help you:
    • Understand your rights;
    • Provide advice and support with regard to the university, workplace, or institution where the incident took place;
    • refer you to relevant organisations or materials;
    • put you in contact with like-minded students or support

Antisemitism and its manifestations contradict fundamental rights and values and reflects deep-rooted prejudice in society against Jews, which will only be overcome by increased awareness-raising efforts among the population and strong political condemnation. Historically, manifestations of antisemitism have shown how prejudice and intolerance can lead to systematic harassment, discrimination, and,

ultimately, mass killings and genocide. Still today, persisting stereotypes, insults and physical violence are experienced daily by members of the Jewish community across Europe.

To tackle antisemitism, it must be defined. In defining antisemitism, EUJS uses the working definition of antisemitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), alongside almost every other mainstream Jewish organisation in Europe and across the world.

The IHRA working definition has been agreed upon by 31 participating states to the IHRA, and endorsed by the European Parliament, Council and Commission, and almost all EU member States. In addition, the European Students Union (ESU), the European Youth Forum, national and local Student Unions, police departments, political parties, and other bodies rely on the definition. As such, it represents the most widely agreed-upon definition of what constitutes antisemitism existing today globally.

The definition (only complete with all of its examples) states, that: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

Attached to the definition is a list of contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

  • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
  • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal
  • Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g., gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
  • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries). Not all expressions of antisemitism care criminal acts. Usually, antisemitism is by itself not illegal – except in certain cases defined by law, such as denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some counties.

For example, if a car is vandalised with an antisemitic slur, the vandalism is a criminal, and the antisemitic slur is an aggravating bias motive

Criminal acts are antisemitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews.

Antisemitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries.

Antisemitic acts which are not criminal, because they are not defined by law, should still be reported to civil society organizations monitoring antisemitism.

  • Report the incident to the dean’s office, ombudsman, or campus
  • Many universities have specific mechanisms in place, such as codes of conduct to deal with antisemitic and other discriminatory incidents. If one exists, make sure it is used and implemented correctly, in order to protect your rights on campus.
  • Universities will not always be prepared to deal with antisemitism on To formalize their commitment to address antisemitism, acknowledge its multiple manifestations and specify action steps, we promote a model code of conduct developed in partnership with the Romanian inter-ministerial committee on combatting antisemitism, xenophobia, radicalization and incitement to hatred, which can be found here.
  • Many universities have structures in place to offer counselling, spiritual and emotional support

The online space is a particularly fertile ground for antisemitism. It is especially challenging because it provides increased visibility to hate, and exposes – and often radicalises – large numbers of people to anti-Jewish sentiment, often veiled in the form of conspiracy myths.

  • Reporting to the police: In dealing with antisemitism online, it is important to remember that what is illegal offline is illegal online.

Incitement to hatred and violence, Holocaust denial and distortion in certain countries are criminal acts, whether they manifest offline or online. Thus, if such expressions occur online, you can access the same legal remedies available for physical incidents.

  • Reporting to social media platforms: Reporting hateful and otherwise harmful content to platforms is often frustrating: community standards and criteria for what constitutes removable content is often unclear. Nevertheless, reporting content and accounts is essential in getting social media platforms, forums, and other tech companies to change their policies in the medium and long term.
  • Reporting to civil society organizations and equality bodies: You will find on this page on subsequent tabs, numerous bodies that deal with monitoring and reporting antisemitism. Reporting online incidents is as important as reporting physical incidents and online hatred left unchecked, too often ends up manifesting itself in the physical world.

  • Legal protections are in place in all European countries against hatred and discrimination, including antisemitism and guaranteed in the European Convention of Human Rights, and the Charter of Fundamental rights in the European Union.
  • Everyone has a right to access justice and to seek redress through an effective remedy on an equal footing, regardless of the kind of discrimination suffered.
  • Practically, this means that governments are required to create a safe space for all victims, including victims of crimes based on discrimination, and to protect them from intimidation, retaliation, and secondary victimisation (when a victim suffers harm for a second time because of the manner in which an institution or other individuals deal with the victim).
  • In the EU, the two key pieces of legislation are the Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia and The Victims’ Rights Directive.
  • The Framework Decision harmonizes rules across the EU so that certain crimes are punished more severely in EU Member States if the perpetrator is motivated by racial or religious prejudice, including antisemitism. This is often referred to as a bias motivator. Similar measures exist in other European countries.
  • The Victims’ Rights Directive ensures that all victims of crime have rights, including access to specialist support services and protection measures that correspond to their individual needs related to age, gender, language, and disability.
  • This means that when filing a complaint to the police, you have the right to receive all relevant information regarding the case, your rights and access to support services in an accessible language. You also have the right to be understood.

According to the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, 79 % of victims of antisemitic harassment (and 80% of young people) never reported the most serious incident to the police or any other organisation.

Young Jews are more likely to have experienced antisemitic harassment or violence than Jews of other age groups. Almost half (44 %) reported that they were a victim of at least one incident of antisemitic harassment in the last twelve months before the survey, and 4 % report having experienced at least one incident involving antisemitic violence. This means that:

  1. The problem of antisemitism in Europe is probably a lot bigger than the data shows.
  2. Young Jews are the most likely to be a victim of antisemitism and the least likely to report.
  3. Victims think that reporting an incident is bureaucratic and time-consuming, and that it will likely not make a difference.
  4. Victims do not think that authorities will understand their concerns and take appropriate actions.

This perception is often correct. According to the EU Strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, support structures for victims of antisemitic incidents across Europe are often inadequate.

However, if we do not report, nothing is going to change. The problem of antisemitism on Europe’s streets, on campus, or online, will continue to be underestimated and misunderstood by the authorities. By reporting incidents, we make a small contribution that can change the big picture.

Most European countries have national equality bodies in place. The activities they carry out are different from country to country, such as compiling reports of incidents, raising awareness, offering resources to take action, or providing legal advice or assistance. In some countries they can even adopt legally binding decisions on discrimination.

Austria             Ombud for Equal Treatment

Belgium           Inter-federal Center for Equal Opportunities (UNIA)

Bosnia and Herzegovina The Institution of Human Rights Ombudsman of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bulgaria           Commission for Protection against Discrimination

Croatia            Ombudsman of the Republic of Croatia

Cyprus             Commissioner for Administration and the Protection of Human Rights

Czech Rep.       Public Defender of Rights

Denmark         Danish Institute for Human Rights

Estonia            Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner

Finland            Non-Discrimination Ombudsman

France             Inter-ministerial Delegation on the fight against racism, antisemitism and LGBT- hatred

Defender of Rights

Germany         Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency

Greece             Greek Ombudsman

Hungary           Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights

Ireland             Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

Italy                 National Office against Racial Discrimination

Latvia               Ombudsman’s Office of the Republic of Latvia

Lithuania         Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson

Luxembourg    Centre for Equal Treatment

Malta               National Commission for the Promotion of Equality

Netherlands    Institute for Human Rights

Macedonia Commission for Prevention and Protection against Discrimination

Norway           The Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud

Poland             Commissioner for Human Rights

Portugal           Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality

Romania          National Council for Combating Discrimination

Serbia              Commissioner for the Protection of Equality

Slovakia           Slovak National Centre for Human Rights

Slovenia           The Advocate of the Principle of Equality Slovenia

Spain               Council for the Elimination of Racial or Ethnic Discrimination

Sweden           The Equality Ombudsman

United Kingdom Equality and Human Rights Commission

Fighting antisemitism is not the responsibility of the victim, or of Jewish students or the Jewish community. Nevertheless, we all have a role to play in educating those around us and empowering those affected.

  • Share your story to empower others
  • Be there for others by joining or creating support groups
  • Encourage others to report
  • If you see something, say something