European Jewish Congress
EU must adopt definition for anti-Semitism, European Jewish Congress head says
EJC in the Media
EU must adopt definition for anti-Semitism, European Jewish Congress head says

The absence of a European Union definition for anti-Semitism is an “absurd” situation that needs correcting, which also would honor Holocaust victims, the president of the European Jewish Congress told European lawmakers.

During his address Wednesday at the European Parliament ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, EJC president Moshe Kantor referenced the 2013 removal from the website of the E.U.’s anti-racism agency of a “working definition” of anti-Semitism. Pro-Palestinian activists opposed it because it also mentioned the demonization of Israel as an example of the phenomenon.

Following the removal, which Jewish groups said was harming the credibility of Brussels’ vows to curb rising anti-Semitism, some E.U. officials distanced themselves from that text altogether, claiming it was never adopted, whereas others rejected claims the European Union even needs a definition for the phenomenon.

Kantor in his European Parliament speech Wednesday argued that: “Currently, in most of Europe, we have an absurd situation whereby anti-Semitism, unlike any other form of racism, is defined by the perpetrator and not the victim, as it should be.” He added: “While some are trying to dampen or criticize the definition, let me make it clear that the only people who should be worried about the legalizing of this definition are anti-Semites.”

Kantor said the European Union needed to follow the example of the United Kingdom, which last year officially adopted a definition similar to the one previously dropped by the European Union. The definition adopted by London also was adopted earlier last year by the Berlin-based International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, partially as a response to the 2013 removal of the E.U. definition.

Manifestations of anti-Semitism, the new definition reads, “might include the targeting of the State of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity,” though “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.”

“I urge all European governments to follow the British Government’s lead and adopt this definition,” Kantor said. “The reason this is so essential is because for the first time it tells anti-Semites, your words and actions are illegal.”

Doing so is “the best way for European leaders to commemorate the Holocaust,” Kantor added, “instead of just by talking about the past but by re-committing themselves to a safe future.”

In the harsh-toned speech, Kantor also said: “We have been loyal to you. We fought in your armies, we helped create new technologies to make our lives better and contributed to culture and society way above what our numbers should dictate. We ask you to show us the same loyalty and determination.”

Kantor spoke alongside Antonio Tajani, the newly elected European Parliament president, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

“As we remember, we pledge to never forget all victims and never allow such destruction to occur again. The pledge ‘never again’ must not be a passive gesture,” Tajani said, at one of his first official events in his new position.

Click here to read the full article in JTA

Thursday, January 26, 2017
More News
Politico:
Austria’s conservatives and right-wing populists surged to victory in Sunday’s parliamentary election, according to early projections, heralding a tectonic shift in the country’s politics after more than a decade under a centrist coalition.
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Life in Israel
  • First fully disabled-accessible synagogue opened in Jerusalem
    Construction of the first fully disabled-accessible synagogue in Jerusalem is about to be finished, giving disabled worshipers easy access to the compound, with comfortable seating arrangements for wheelchair-bound visitors, Braille bibles and more.

    On Wednesday, October 11, 2017 First fully disabled-accessible synagogue opened in Jerusalem
  • Survey: 60 percent of Arab Israelis have a positive view of the state
    A poll of Israeli Arabs has found that sixty percent surveyed said they had a favourable view of the state, while 37% said their view was unfavourable.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Survey: 60 percent of Arab Israelis have a positive view of the state
  • Israel's trade with Russia leaps by 25 percent
    Trade between Israel and Russia has grown this year by 25 percent, officials from both countries revealed, amid complications with other Russian trading partners.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Israel's trade with Russia leaps by 25 percent
  • Israel aims to double the number of people working in hi-tech
    The Israel Innovation Authority aims to double the number of high-tech workers in the country over the next decade, while encouraging companies in older industry to use more technology and become more innovative, the authority said in its annual report released on Sunday.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Israel aims to double the number of people working in hi-tech
  • 20,000 Gazan lulavs arrive in Israel
    A shipment of 20,000 date palm fronds were transported on Monday from the Gaza Strip to Israel where they were to be sold for use in a traditional Jewish religious ritual during the coming Sukkot holiday, the Defence Ministry said.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 20,000 Gazan lulavs arrive in Israel
  • Israeli intelligence helped to thwart dozens of terror attacks around the world
    The Israeli intelligence community has shared information with other countries over the past two years that has helped thwart dozens of terror attacks about to be perpetrated by Islamists who were in contact with members of Islamic State and Middle Eastern factions identified with Al-Qaida.

    On Thursday, September 28, 2017 Israeli intelligence helped to thwart dozens of terror attacks around the world
  • IDF declares war on smoking
    IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot has approved new measures to combat smoking in the military after new data revealed smoking during army service rose by 40 percent.

    On Wednesday, September 20, 2017 IDF declares war on smoking
  • Thousands take part in race commemorating fallen Druze police officers
    Thousands of participants took part on Friday in a race to commemorate the 421 Druze fighters who fell in all of Israel's battles and terror attacks.

    On Wednesday, September 20, 2017 Thousands take part in race commemorating fallen Druze police officers
  • Tamar and Mohammed top Israel's baby name list
    The most popular baby names in Israel over the past year were Tamar for girls and Mohammad for boys, the two favourites remaining at the top of their lists for the third consecutive year, according to figures released on Sunday by the Interior Ministry.

    On Wednesday, September 20, 2017 Tamar and Mohammed top Israel's baby name list
  • Syrians express gratitude for Israeli field hospitals
    Dozens of Syrian civilians have written letters of gratitude to Israel and the IDF for establishing field hospitals on its northern border which provided, and continue to provide, medical care to numerous victims wounded in the country's ongoing violent civil war.

    On Thursday, September 14, 2017 Syrians express gratitude for Israeli field hospitals
President's Page Security and Crisis Centre by EJC European Parliament Working Group On Antisemitism