WJC welcomes measure to combat racism and antisemitism

March 6, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The World Jewish Congress has applauded the Council of the European Union’s adoption of measures to combat racism and antisemitism.

Ronald S. Lauder

The measures, officially known as “Conclusions,” make the fight against antisemitism a priority of Europe’s executive branch. France holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union until June 2022. 

WJC has worked closely with European governments at all levels, as well as Jewish communities across Europe, to codify ways to fight the hatred of Jews. 

“The just-released Conclusions demonstrate that France and the entire leadership of the European Union recognize the danger that antisemitism poses to the Jewish people and society at large,” said WJC President Ronald S. Lauder. “We must never be passive or negligent in combating antisemitism or any other form of bigotry.” 

Lauder said, “As antisemitism continues to surge across Europe – one recent study found 10 antisemitic incidents daily around the globe, almost half of them in Europe – the Council’s commitment to fighting the world’s oldest hatred is more critical than ever. Member States will now need to adopt the specific policies laid out to ensure that the hatred of Jews is tackled head-on, perpetrators are held responsible, and future generations learn that all forms of hatred are unacceptable.

He added, “We also echo the sentiments of Francis Kalifat, WJC Vice President and head of the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (CRIF), who has called for France to develop a separate national strategy to combat antisemitism in recognition that it is distinct from other forms of hate.”

The Conclusions specifically invite Member States to develop action plans as outlined in the EU Strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, adopted by the European Commission on Oct. 5, 2021. 

The Conclusions deplore that “racism and antisemitism may lead and have led to forms of violent extremism and terrorism,” and affirm the use of the working definitions of antisemitism and of Holocaust denial and distortion adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance as useful guidance for education and training purposes, including for law enforcement and judicial authorities.

Regarding the growth of antisemitic hate speech, particularly its dissemination online, the Conclusions urge social media, technology and communications sectors to “respect the principles of equality and non-discrimination … and adopt solutions enabling them to rapidly detect, assess and remove illegal online hate speech.”

The European Council comprises the heads of state or government of the EU Member States, as well as the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission. 

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