Wednesday, 24 Apr 2019 - 19 of Nisan, 5779

Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog in the European Parliament: ‘Jews

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“Jews are once again unsafe in the streets of Europe”

 “As it pertains to anti-Semitism, this is one of the darkest eras for European Jewry in recent times.”

BRUSSELS —‘’As it pertains to anti-Semitism, this is one of the darkest eras for European Jewry in recent times,’’ declared Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog at an event in the European Parliament in Brussels marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“We can no longer ignore the fact that Jews are once again unsafe in the streets of Europe,” he stated. “When 90% of European Jews say anti-Semitism has increased in their home country, we understand we are dealing with a plague,” he said in a reference to a recent survey by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency.

The event, organized by the European Jewish Congress (EJC) partnership with The European Parliament Working Group on Antisemitism, under the patronage of European Parliament President Antonio Tajani.

As a measure in combating anti-Semitism in Europe, Herzog also called on all EU states to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, as they were requested by the Council of the EU.

Eighteen out of 28 EU member states have yet to adopt this definition. Herzog noted that this matter should not be subject to political debate.

He added : “In this very place…which was created as a fortress against the horrors of the past, I’d like to state loud and clear: Anti-Semitism in Europe is now a raging crisis. Again. And it must be stopped. As it pertains to anti-Semitism, we are facing among the darkest periods of Jewish history in Europe, in recent times. There are far too many examples to cite. While we respect the efforts of the governments to combat anti-Semitism, we see the urgency of this matter reflected in recent surveys and in actions taken on both extremes of the political spectrum…who are employing anti-Semitism as a political vehicle. This must be stopped. “

From left: European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, Viorica Dăncilăl, Prime Minister of Romania, the current holder of the rotating Presidency of the European Council; Raya Kalenova, Executive Vice President of the European Jewish Congress, Isaac Herzog, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel.
Picture by Sergey Kaminsky.

Addressing the European Jewish Congress and leaders from across Europe, Chairman Herzog spoke of the alarming rise in anti-Semitism throughout Europe and noted that, “As it pertains to anti-Semitism, this is one of the darkest eras for European Jewry in recent times.”

As a measure in combating anti-Semitism in Europe, Herzog also called on all EU states to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, as they were requested by the Council of the EU. Eighteen EU states have yet to adopt this definition. Herzog noted that this matter should not be subject to political debateHe continued: “In this very place…which was created as a fortress against the horrors of the past, I’d like to state loud and clear: Anti-Semitism in Europe is now a raging crisis. Again. And it must be stopped. As it pertains to anti-Semitism, we are facing among the darkest periods of Jewish history in Europe, in recent times. There are far too many examples to cite. While we respect the efforts of the governments to combat anti-Semitism, we see the urgency of this matter reflected in recent surveys and in actions taken on both extremes of the political spectrum…who are employing anti-Semitism as a political vehicle. This must be stopped. “

He called on Europe to unite in a renewed fight against anti-Semitism, saying the lessons of the Holocaust must be taught from generation to generation.

In his address, President Tajani said “Perpetuating memory is essential in healing wounds and avoiding mistakes of the past. The European Union has learned from its history, basing its values on freedom and the centrality of the individual, yet antisemitism is an ongoing issue.”

He added, “The Parliament’s message is clear: there is no place for hatred of any kind in Europe. Together, we promise to reject it in all its forms and continue to give meaning and life to the words: ‘Never Again’.”

European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor spoke abot the danger of populist parties and the necessity for strengthening the moderate and pragmatic political forces in Europe in the battle against rising extremism and antisemitism.

“Today, in the home of European democracy, as we remember all the victims of the Holocaust, I want to call you to action,” Dr. Kantor said. “We must use this opportunity to prepare for the upcoming battle against extremism that is infecting our continent again.”

“We need to work together, united, to rebuild support for a strong European political centre. Europe must never again fall to the extremes. It must be a centre of moderation, of security, and of tolerance. This is the right way,” he said.

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