Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Portugal´s President: 'The resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe is a fact'

Jorge Sampaio, president of Portugal, was interviewed about his Jewish heritage and antisemitism:
I have constantly denounced all forms of discrimination and xenophobia, be it of religious, ethnic, cultural, sexual, or any other nature. I obviously condemn any form of anti-Semitism…. The resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe is a fact – although it is not a pattern – and must also be seen in the framework of the resurgence of other forms of xenophobia and racial hatred. These manifestations do exist and we must fight all of them with the same energy, attacking their causes, and prosecuting those that sow hatred and violence. 
Anti-Israel and anti-Zionist sentiments in Europe often seem to be a cover for expressing anti-Semitic feelings under the guise of political opposition to Israeli policies. Why is Europe so critical of Israel? Is anti-Semitism a factor? 
I believe that we must be careful with our assertions. I am ready to admit that some criticism of Israel might have some anti-Semitic motivations. But I absolutely reject that all criticism of Israeli policies has such motivations. In fact, many people who criticize such policies have the security of Israel and the well-being of the Israeli people at the core of their motivations, I for one. I do believe that Europe’s position has strived to be fair and balanced, even if, sometimes, we have not managed to make our position sufficiently clear.
More: Shavei Israel

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