Rabbi Binyamin Jacobs
Rabbi Binyamin JacobsYoni Kempinski

As Europe woke up on Wednesday morning to a different European Parliamentary landscape, the Chairman of the European Jewish Association, Rabbi Menachem Margolin and Head of Governmental relations for the Rabbinical Centre of Europe Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs (Netherlands), issued a joint statement that said anti-Semitism has to be condemned and fought by itself, regardless of political affiliation.

The heads, whose organizations are the largest federation of Jews in Europe and represent hundreds of communities across the continent said, “The picture, much like the diverse countries that make up the European Union, is a mixed and confused one. What is clear however is that European Jewry finds itself in the same position that it was in last week. The elections might represent a changing of the guard, but the threat of anti-Semitism is still here.”

“Just as every rightist is not a fascist or a Nazi, and just as every leftist is not communist or a Stalinist. Anti-Semitism has no political affiliation. Not every left-wing legitimate criticism of the state of Israel is anti-Semitism just like not every European national movement is anti-Jewish. There are no facile truths. Anti-Semitism seeps and infects every part of the political spectrum.

“Over history this primitive doctrine has wormed its way into the minds of both left and right wingers, to republicans and monarchists alike - anti-Semitism stood by itself and it has to be condemned and fought by itself, regardless to any political affiliation.

“What is particularly troubling is the use of the battle against anti-Semitism as a political tool. This represents one of the most cynical tricks in the history of modern politics and therefore has to be stopped. It does great damage to the cause of the international battle against the real anti-Semitism by attempting to transfer it from a mainstream topic to a partisan one. Anti-Semitism doesn’t just happen ‘over there’ on the political fringes.

“The dangerous and irresponsible role that some groups play in the labeling of political movements as anti-Semitic, purely in accordance to their own political interests, is destructive, does a massive disservice to Jewry as a whole, lessens the impact of concrete and real cases of anti-Semitism is to be utterly condemned. We cannot and must not ever become like the child that cried wolf when it comes to anti-Semitism.”

“Those who really care about fighting anti-Semitism should join hands, rightists and leftists alike, in monitoring every single politicians’ words and actions. Words and actions alone should be the only barometer for anti-Semitism. This is how we will approach the new political mandate.”