Friday, July 27, 2018

Europe: US Vice President Mike Pence cited attacks on Jews in Europe

Via JTA:
Wrapping up a rollout of a major Trump administration effort to fight for religious freedom, Pence made the remarks Thursday on the final day of the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C., after singling out Iran for its persecution of religious minorities.

“While religious freedom is always in danger in authoritarian regimes, threats to religious minorities are not confined to autocracies or dictatorships,” he told government officials from from 80 countries, including Israel. “They can, and do, arise in free societies, as well — not from government persecution but from prejudice and hatred.”

The vice president noted a rise in religious intolerance in Europe.

“Just 70 years after the Holocaust, attacks on Jews, even on aging Holocaust survivors, are growing at an alarming rate,” he said. Pence cited what he said was a record high last year in attacks on British Jews, and warnings of Jewish leaders in France and Germany not to wear kippahs.

“It is remarkable to think that within the very lifetimes of some French Jews — the same French Jews that were forced by the Nazis to wear identifiable Jewish clothing — that some of those same people are now being warned by their democratic leaders not to wear identifiable Jewish clothing,” he said.

“These acts of violence and hatred and anti-Semitism must end,” Pence said to applause.
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