Israeli researchers find 30 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents worldwide in 2012

An annual Israeli report has logged a 30 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents worldwide, linking the surge to Europe's economic troubles and a deadly attack on Jewish schoolchildren last year in France.

Tel Aviv University said Sunday that 686 attacks were recorded in 34 countries, ranging from physical violence to vandalism of synagogues and cemeteries, compared to 526 in 2011. The sharp increase followed a two-year decline.

It linked the March 2012 shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse, where an extremist Muslim gunman killed four, to a series of copycat attacks, particularly in France, where physical assaults on Jews almost doubled.

In Greece, Hungary and Ukraine, economic difficulties favored the rise of extreme right-wing parties whose anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli rhetoric has apparently helped ignite attacks, it said.