The European Union's interior ministers adopted a declaration acknowledging hatred against Jews "remains widespread" and inviting member states to increase their efforts to combat it Photo: AFP/File
world

EU countries step up fight against anti-Semitism

8 Comments
By JOSEPH EID

European Union countries agreed Thursday to intensify the fight against anti-Semitism and boost security for Jews throughout Europe. The 28-nation bloc's interior ministers adopted a declaration acknowledging hatred against Jews "remains widespread".

"The declaration invites member states to adopt and implement a holistic strategy to prevent and fight all forms of anti-Semitism," it said. "It calls on member states to increase their efforts to ensure security for Jewish communities, institutions and citizens."

The ministers urged member states that have not done so to adopt a common definition of anti-Semitism to better identify and investigate attacks against Jews.

They asked the member states to offer financing and carry out security measures for Jewish communities, institutions and citizens.

The declaration called on the member states to "take appropriate measures against hate crimes and incitement to violence or hatred against Jewish people."

It asked them to join in existing EU and other multinational training programs to boost their ability to record and collect hate crimes data.

It invited member states to stress the importance of Holocaust remembrance and education for all as well as research in this field.

The World Jewish Congress hailed the declaration as recognition by all EU member states that "serious action" is needed to tackle anti-Semitism.

The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights said said that few EU member states record anti-Semitic incidents in a way that allows them to collect "adequate official data".

France, home to Europe's largest Jewish community, said it saw the number of reported anti-Semitic attacks and threats rise 69 percent to 385 between January and September this year, after two years of declining violence.

© 2018 AFP

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

8 Comments
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The article doesn’t mention why there has been a rise in anti-Semitic incidents over the past few years. Is it related to the influx of anti-Israel refugees?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Much of the Islamic world has been taught from birth to hate Jewish people. It is hard to overcome 20+ yrs of parental expectations and negative teachings. Jewish people have learned to notice certain people on the street as part of their personal safety.

Some of my Jewish friends in Canada see a burka in the same light as a black person in the southern USA might view someone in KKK robes with anger and fear. The burka broadcasts "the men in my family hate Jews." That may or may not be true, but their fear is real.

Anti-Semitism is an issue even without Muslims, but they certainly raise the perceived and real threat level for normal Jewish people.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I know a lot of Jewish people feel threatened by the presence of Muslim immigrants in their countries- a Jewish friend of mine supports a very right-wing party because of their anti-Muslim stance. Still, I have to admit my first reaction to there being a significant link between the rise of anti-Semitic crime in Europe and the influx of Muslims was one of scepticism. But then I checked some sources and found these articles in a couple of reputable media outlets (there are many others):

in Germany: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/after-a-refugee-influx-does-germany-have-an-imported-anti-semitism-problem/2018/04/27/1c804d54-46ff-11e8-8082-105a446d19b8_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.b607d31ce9ba

in France: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/27/world/europe/france-new-anti-semitism.html

So these and other articles made me think again on this issue. We shouldn't forget the other usual suspects, though - the extreme Right and the traditional, pernicious anti-Semitism of most European and other societies.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@BigYen

Good post.

I like to applaud moderate Muslims who are willing admit to and call out anti-Semitism in the Muslim community. Mehdi Hasan, a devout Muslim and journalist born and bred in the UK, called anti-Semitism “our dirty secret” and described anti-Semitism as rife and commonplace among UK muslims.

Too many are willing to call out anti-Semitism from racists and the like but hesitate to call it out from others.

Nobody should get a pass. Bigotry is bigotry.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The rise of populism which the likes of Steve Bannon are seeking to promote throughout Europe have played a part in the spread of anti-Semitism. Not to forget, of course, online bigotry with dog whistle terms like "globalists", "New World Order" and "cultural Marxism" to name but a few. Which are rarely called out and eve then, often dismissed.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/19/cultural-marxism-a-uniting-theory-for-rightwingers-who-love-to-play-the-victim

Far right parties in Europe who find allies in the mainstream also add to the vile mix,

https://leftfootforward.org/2018/08/heres-5-times-that-ukip-members-were-found-to-have-nazi-links/

and then there are those groups who are just getting more blatant and brazen

https://www.newsweek.com/neo-nazis-sweden-jewish-groups-yom-kippur-synagogue-march-664336

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-46460442

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The rise of populism which the likes of Steve Bannon are seeking to promote throughout Europe have played a part in the spread of anti-Semitism.

That’s not true, it’s not about Bannon, the movement is way bigger than the man and anti-Semitism has always been around and never left, it was there throughout my entire years in Europe as a kid, more subtle, but definitely and always present. The thing is at least in the case of the US people are just tired of both political parties and populism is on the rise, the populism encapsulates all creeds, religions and nationalities, men or women, it is something that is definitely growing and will continue to flourish and while I hate racism in all forms, you will always have it and anti-Semitism will always remain as well, sadly.

Not to forget, of course, online bigotry with dog whistle terms like "globalists", "New World Order" and "cultural Marxism" to name but a few.

With the exception of online bigotry being evil, the rest of these terms are very true.

Which are rarely called out and eve then, often dismissed.

Why should they be?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why is it that anti-semitism should rank higher than any other religious hate crime ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That’s not true, it’s not about Bannon, the movement is way bigger than the man and anti-Semitism has always been around and never left, it was there throughout my entire years in Europe as a kid, more subtle, but definitely and always present.

Spot on bass, had the exact same experience. Anti-semitism is ingrained in many european cultures & languages (definitely not as widespread/prevalent in the anglo world)

Great post BigYen. Re Europe antisemitism, bit of an egg and chicken situation though i.e both euros & Muslims are 'enablers'.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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