Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Europe: Anger simmers as EU Parliament shoots down anti-­Semitism task-force

Background: Europe: MEPs reject taskforce on antisemitism but have 28 'intergroups' for issues such as wine and fishing

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Jewish organizations reacted harshly to last week’s failure by the European Parliament to establish a task force on anti-Semitism despite initial support by a significant number of legislators. [...]

Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich went even further, telling The Jerusalem Post that the decision not to form a task force “shows a politicization of fighting anti-Semitism to an unprecedented level of cynicism.”

“The decision by the European Parliament to disregard the need for an intergroup task force focused on the growing threat of anti-Semitism in Europe is another failure of European leadership to recognize and understand their responsibility to assure the Jews of Europe a future of safety and dignity.

At the very moment when bold measures are called for to meet the challenges to Jewish life in Europe, the European Parliament has said ‘we really don’t care,’” said Anti-Defamation League chief Abraham Foxman. “Coming just days after the adoption of a resolution urging recognition of a Palestinian state, this decision may well be another example of how the Middle East conflict is used by European leaders as an excuse to do little or nothing about the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe.” 

Eli Ringer, the immediate past president of Belgium’s Forum der Joodse Organisaties, recalled demanding this past summer, as anti-Semitic riots broke out across Europe, that “in the new Commission of Europe a commissioner should be appointed handling the problem of racism and specifically on anti-Semitism.”

“We feel very much disappointed that the new president of the European Commission did not take notice of this demand. We have the feeling that Europe does not have any more interest in real values, but, [rather,] all the importance is put on economic issues. Europe does not understand the danger of anti-Semitism and has a short-term memory.... We do not pretend that we are in the same situation like before the war concerning anti-Semitism, but the danger of spreading exists, and all Europe could become victims – Jews and non-Jews alike,” he told the Post.

More: Jerusalem Post

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