‘’Education is the long-term arm of fighting anti-Semitism’, says EU senior official
EUROPEAN JEWISH PRESS – There must be no tolerance towards anti-Semitism. We need to tackle it in all its forms including anti-Semitism that hides behind anti-Zionism,’’ stated Katharina von Schnurbein, the EU coordinator on combating anti-Semitism as she met last Friday in Brussels a delegation of Jewish leaders and representatives from over 10 European countries.
The meeting, initiated by the Israel Jewish Congress (IJC), was an opportunity for the EU senior official to listen first-hand to the Jewish leaders about the situation in their communities, including the daily challenges they face from the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, violent attacks on Jews, as well attacks on Zionism and Israel as the Jewish State. ‘’Anti-Semitism threatens the society as a whole,’’ said von Schnurbein.
IJC President Vladimir Sloutsker described the situation as ‘’an existential threat to the EU’’ as he called for a ”joint approach’’ and ‘’new strategic change’’ in fighting anti-Semitism.
During the meeting, von Schnurbein updated the Jewish leaders from Belgium, France, UK, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Greece, Sweden, Latvia and Lithuania, about some of the steps the European Union has taken so far to combat the scourge of anti-Semitism.
These steps include last week’s announcement of an agreement by the European Commission and social media companies ‘’to remove hate speech inciting to violence within 24 hours,’’ a step welcomed as a ‘’positive development’’ by the IJC and the Jewish representatives.
The Jewish leaders discussed a number of immediate actions and proposals aimed at fighting anti-Semitism, including the need for a uniform definition of anti-Semitism in Europe which includes reference to anti-Zionism, the adoption of the French model of legislation that oulaws the anti-Israel BDS movement, greater enforcement of Holocaust denial legislations, increased focus on education and more efforts in interfaith dialogue and inter-cultural cooperation.
‘’Education is the long-term arm of fighting anti-Semitism,’’ recognized Katharina von Schnurbein.
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