WJC praises EU lawmakers for backing measures to combat anti-Semitism

June 2, 2017 Agencies
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The president of the World Jewish Congress Ronald S. Lauder has welcomed a resolution adopted by the European Parliament which urges all European Union member states to take action against hatred of Jews.

Ronald S. Lauder addresses the plenary
Photo: Shahar Azran

“It is high time that a concerted and strong effort is made across Europe to stamp out bigotry and hatred of Jews. If the Jews are forced to leave Europe because of anti-Semitism, it would be sad for the Jews, but it would be a disaster for Europe,” Lauder declared.

The resolution calls on European institutions and EU member states to adopt and apply the working definition of anti-Semitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), in which most of the 28 EU states participate. Currently, only Austria, Romania and the United Kingdom have formally adopted the definition.

Ronald S. Lauder said: “Anti-Semitism is the oldest form of ethnic and religious hatred, and we need binding criteria for measuring it. This resolution must now be speedily implemented by all member states and by the EU institutions. It is critical that all countries apply the same criteria when it comes to dealing with hatred of Jews.”

The European Parliament resolution urges members to protect their Jewish citizens and Jewish institutions from hate crime and hate speech, to support law enforcement efforts to identify and prosecute anti-Semitic attacks, to appoint national coordinators on combating anti-Semitism, systematically and publicly condemn anti-Semitic statements, to promote education about the Holocaust in schools, and to review schoolbooks regarding content related to Jewish history and contemporary Jewish life.

The lawmakers of the 28 EU member states also call for more effective prosecution and cross-border cooperation and want all EU countries to appoint national coordinators to combat anti-Semitism. The resolution states that the Holocaust should be taught in schools. It also urges politicians to condemn anti-Semitic statements.

The definition adopted by the IHRA in May 2016 reads: “Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

IHRA also cited, amongst other things, as examples for anti-Semitism, 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, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective, accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group; denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of Nazi Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II, or accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

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