Hate Crimes Report Out

In Belfast, Northern Ireland, young men attack a family of Bangladeshi origin, breaking their windows, smashing their front door, and ultimately setting their home on fire. In Moscow, Russian skinheads follow a rabbi from a Jewish community center into a subway underpass to attack him, breaking his bones. In Noeud-les-Mines, France, teenagers repeatedly harass a gay man with homophobic epithets, until one day they douse him with gasoline and set him on fire. In Roisel, France, young men with shaved heads assault two workers of North African origin with baseball bats and iron bars.

That’s from the foreword to a new report, Everyday Fears: A Survey of Violent Hate Crimes in Europe and North America, produced by Michael McClintock of Human Rights First. A short summary can be seen here.

The report was published to coincide with the OSCE Conference on Anti-Semitism and on Other Forms of Intolerance, which took place last week in Cordoba. At one point the conference got bogged down with arguments over how much emphasis should be put on anti-Semitism in relation to other forms of bigotry, but it ended with this document being adopted. The AP, however, seems to be underwhelmed:

The statement said educating people about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism is needed to prevent intolerance, but it did not suggest any specific measures on how to do this.

And it alluded to the fact that the OSCE has not come up with an official definition of what anti-Semitism is. “This is a work in progress,” said the US ambassador to the Vienna-based body, Stephan Minikes.