The European Jewish Congress (EJC), represented by its Executive Vice-President, Ms Raya Kalenova, took part in the joint event of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Israel (D-IL) and the Delegation for relations with the United States (D-US) that was held on Monday, 27th of March 2017. Ms. Kalenova addressed the audience on ‘Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism – a threat to Democracy’ alongside the chairs of the delegations, MEP Fulvio Martusciello (D-IL, EPP Italy) and MEP Christian Ehler (D-US, EPP Germany), as well as Mr. Charles Asher Small, Director for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP).
Ms. Raya Kalenova reaffirmed the urgency of adopting a working definition of antisemitism, an issue that has been at the forefront of EJC’s agenda for many years. She emphasized the benefits of having a working definition of antisemitism that can certainly help practitioners but also law enforcement agents to understand when harassment and abuse of Jews become a criminal act.
Furthermore, Ms Kalenova exposed the dangerous political coalitions that take form in Europe and the United States and that use antisemitism as part of their political message, increasing the threat for Jewish Communities and the State of Israel. Antisemitism has different shapes and manifestations, but its new mutation – the Ani-Zionism – has become more widespread, she added.
Ms. Kalenova exposed the BDS movement explaining that BDS is not about settlements, or the two-state solution, or the need to reach a historic compromise between the Israelis and the Palestinians. It is most definitely not about peace. It is not even about criticism of Israel either, something that legitimately takes place especially across the Jewish state, in its vibrant democracy and free press. No! BDS is about one thing and one thing alone. It is about the destruction through economic and cultural strangulation of the Jewish state – the one Jewish state – and no other states.
Ms Kalenova praised the work of both Delegations and insisted that the greatest bloc of democracies in the world, the European Union, should privilege links and cooperation with Israel, the only democratic state in the Middle East, on the very borders of Europe, which shares its values and human rights.
The panelists were addressed questions by Members of the European Parliament present at the meeting regarding legitimate criticism of Israel, the existing methodology of recording and reporting antisemitic incidents as well as EU-Israel relations and their perspectives.
Members of the European Parliament, representatives of the Israeli Mission to the EU as well as of Jewish and non-Jewish organizations were present at the meeting.Tuesday, March 28, 2017