Definition of anti-Semitism
Definition of anti-Semitism iStock

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Association (EJA), today said that anyone who is shocked at the latest EU Report on discrimination and hate crime against Jews in the EU is ‘”disconnected from the reality on the ground.”

He also urged Member States to adopt the EJA’s Jewish Red Lines as a concrete sign that they are committed to making a difference.

The headline figures in the latest report make for stark reading

  • 89% of Jews think Antisemitism is most problematic on the internet and on social media
  • 28% of respondents have been harassed at least once in the past year;
  • 79% of Jews who experienced antisemitic harassment in the past five years did not report this to the police or another organisation;
  • 34% avoid visiting Jewish events or sites because they do not feel safe;
  • 38% have considered emigrating because they did not feel safe as Jews in Europe;
  • 70% consider that efforts by Member States to combat Antisemitism are not effective.

In a statement from Brussels where the EJA attended the launch of the report at the Council of the European Union, Rabbi Margolin said,

“We thank the EU and the Fundamental Rights agency for confirming what we already knew, Europe as a whole is failing in its fight against antisemitism, and failing in ensuring the safety and security of the Jewish people that live on the continent.

Anybody who is shocked at this report must have their head in the ground or else is badly disconnected from the reality on the ground. This news is not a lightning bolt out of the blue, but instead is a confirmation of everything that our association members and people who approach us have been reporting to us on their daily experiences.

Rabbi Margolin urged Europe’s leaders to immediately sign up to the “Jewish red lines” ratified by the members of the European Jewish Association at their conference in Brussels in November. The red lines are:

  • Political parties and their leadership must sign up to the fullIHRA definition of Anti-semitism.

  • Every European Country must appoint a dedicated Special Representative to combat anti-Semitism where one already doesn’t exist

  • All political parties pledge to exclude from governmentparties or politicians that espouse anti-Semitism as defined by the IHRA definition.

  • All political parties to pass, in accordance with their respective rules of procedure, binding resolutions that reject BDS activities as fundamentally anti-Semitic.

  • All political parties to support in writing and in party documents their support for freedom of religion and freedom of practice at Member State level and EU level.

“These red lines are the base camp, the bare minimum that is needed to make a real difference. Europe’s principal leaders and parties were sent them, will be aware of them, and should adopt them immediately if they are serious about tackling the unshockingly ‘shocking’ figures in this sad report on European Jewry”, concluded Rabbi Margolin.