BRUSSELS—‘’There is no single challenge which represents a direct threat to our vision of society and our very existence as hate speech, anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism do,’’ said Romanian MEP Andi Cristea, who is Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament.
Hosting in the European Parliament in Brussels a conference on the fight against antisemitism and for freedom of religion in Europe, organised by the European Jewish Association (EJA), a federation of Jewish communities across the continent, he declared: ‘’Antisemitism and hate speech are not crucial policy priorities for Europe’s future, they are about our very own future.’’
‘’The attacks against Jewish communities show the magnitude of the wave of antisemitism, racism and xenophobia that is spreading in many countries,’’ MEP Cristea, who is a member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), added.
He stressed that ‘’as politicians, condemnation of anti-Semitism is not enough when we look at the politics and rhetoric that we witness today.
’’Condemnation of anti-Semitism is not enough when we look at the incitement to hatred and violence that we see in many parts of the world; condemnation of anti-Semitism is not enough when we look at the tacit consent of leaders at the highest level vis-à-vis those who have not learnt the lessons of history.’’
Referring to the recent Pittsburgh Synagogue attack, he said that ‘’what we witness today is a general climate of hate, of intolerance, stirred not only by right-wing extremists, but also by ignorance, by demagogy and by careful political calculation.’’
‘’Just condemning such tragedies, such attacks in our communities is not and cannot be enough,’’ he added. ‘’The way ahead is a spirit of genuine, unconditional and imperative zero tolerance. We must take action against what lies behind such tragedies. And as political class we have a special responsibility to do so.’
‘We have to go beyond the immediate pain and sorrow of the brutal murders against Jewish communities. Once the messages of support and solidarity fade away, it is time for us to stop, to look at what is there, before us, and to identify our common mission and our strategy. There is only one thing we cannot do, and one action we cannot take, and that is going back to business as usual,’’ concluded MEP Cristea.