A leading European politician has vowed to step up the fight against rising anti-Semitism in Europe, as Jews continued to flee the continent and accuse European leaders of not to enough to combat Jew-hatred.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made the comments in a statement marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which takes place on Wednesday. The European Commission is the executive arm of the European Union.
Juncker lamented the rampant anti-Semitism in France in particular, which has driven record numbers to emigrate to Israel, among other places.
Echoing recent comments by France's prime minister, he warned that "a Europe without Jews would be no longer Europe."
"I never imagined a Rabbi in Marseille would have to tell his Community it might be better to hide the kippa," he said, referring to controversial comments made after a machete attack against a Jewish teacher. "I never imagined that Jewish schools and Synagogues would have to be guarded, I never imagined a Europe where Jews feel so insecure that immigration to Israel reaches an all-time high. 71 years after the liberation of Auschwitz this is intolerable.
"Europe cannot and will not accept this," he continued. "Attacks on Jews are attacks on all of us – against our way of living, against tolerance and against our identity."
Citing French Jewish filmmaker Claude Lanzmann, he stated that merely remembering the holocaust was not enough.
"The Hebrew word for honoring the dead also means to remember and to recall – and Europe's responsibility is to remember for the future," Juncker said, calling to "counter the dangerous rise of extremism, racism, xenophobia, nationalism and Anti-Semitism."
"Our entire society has a duty to prevent Anti-Semitism and we must fight it on every corner – whether on the extreme right or the extreme left or when it is instigated by extreme Islamists," he declared.
"The European Commission is doing everything in its powers: We recently appointed a coordinator on combating anti-Semitism, we ensure that legislation tackling Anti-Semitism - as well as racism and xenophobia more generally - is correctly applied across all Member States. This includes Holocaust denial which is already prohibited by EU law, but 15 countries still don't apply it properly. I want Europe to be a home for all communities.
"We are determined: Never again. Because a Europe of hate is one that we refuse. Because a Europe without Jews would be no longer Europe."