European Jewish Congress
EJC took part in the Joint Day of Action against Antisemitism by OSCE/ODIHR and EU Institutions
EJC In Action
EJC took part in the Joint Day of Action against Antisemitism by OSCE/ODIHR and EU Institutions

The EJC represented by its Vice-President in charge of Security and Crisis Management Dr Ariel Muzicant took an active part in the event organised by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in co-operation with the European External Action Service (EEAS), the European Commission (EC), the European Parliament Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI) and the European Parliament Working Group on Antisemitism (WGAS) devoted to practical ways to combat antisemitism. 

The rise of antisemitism and violent incidents against Jewish people in Europe has led the OSCE/ODIHR to develop a practical guide entitled “Understanding antisemitic hate crimes and addressing the security needs of Jewish communities”.  The publication lists practical steps that governments in co-operation with Jewish communities can undertake to prevent and respond to antisemitic hate crimes and better address the security needs of Jewish communities

WGAS Chair MEP Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar delivered opening remarks by presenting the work of the WGAS and by calling upon those MEPs present to support the Motion for Resolution on combatting antisemitism, which includes the IHRA working definition of antisemitism, to be voted on June 1st, 2017 during the European Parliament’s mini plenary session.

WGAS Vice-Chair MEP Heinz K. Becker stated in his address that the OSCE/ODIHR’s guide should become the number one action guide for governments and other institutions that are responsible for combatting antisemitism. MEP Becker expressed the need to put pressure on governments to protect Jewish communities and individuals so that they could enjoy freedom from fear and practice their Jewish life in Europe with dignity. 

The presentation of the OSCE/ODIHR guide was followed by a panel discussion between EJC Vice-President Ariel Muzicant, Chief Commissioner of the Brussels Police Saad Amrani, European Commission's Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism Katharina von Schnurbein, and Dr. David Hirsh of Goldsmiths (University of London). 

Dr Ariel Muzicant congratulated OSCE and ODIHR for their important work on launching the guide. Dr Muzicant stated that over the last decades Jewish communities had been forced to live under the maximum security and pointed out that there are still countries in the European Union today that refuse to address the problem of communities’ security needs. Dr Muzicant also expressed that in the long-term perspective this practical guide and its suggested strategies will help not only Jewish communities, but also everybody in Europe. 

WGAS Vice-Chair MEP Cecilia Wikström closed the meeting by maintaining that the launch of the OSCE/ODIHR guide should serve as a starting point of honest and thoughtful assessments of security issues that Jewish communities are facing right now and of how these challenges can be addressed in a sophisticated manner. MEP Wikström also stressed the need of promoting enhanced dialogue and partnership between Jewish communities and law enforcement institutions.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017
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