Following the release of a European Union report showing that nearly 90% of European Jews believe that anti-Semitism has worsened in their countries over the past five years, Jewish organizations have called on European leaders to fight the hatred, The Times of Israel reported Monday.
In response to the findings of the EU report, Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, said that the report should serve as “a final warning that words are not enough” in combatting anti-Semitism.
European Jews, Kantor asserted, “have lost faith in the authorities, in their neighbours and in their national leaders and this has led not only to a crisis in their relations with them, but are wavering between two extreme actions, emigration and cutting themselves off from their Jewish community.”
Now, more than ever, it is incumbent upon political leaders to set the tone of what is acceptable discourse in Europe,” Ron Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, said, calling the results of the report “shocking.”
“Leaders of parties with anti-Semitic members must expel them immediately without delay,” he said. “Heads of state must show true and moral leadership in not only speaking out against antisemitism, but with action to root out antisemitism wherever it may rear its ugly head.”
Lauder also urged that European governments enhance the security provided to Jewish institutions and that efforts to address anti-Semitism through education must be made.
The American Jewish Committee released a statement describing the report as presenting a “unique and dismaying perspective.”
“European leaders, who laudably adopted a declaration in Brussels last week to step-up the fight against anti-Semitism, must realize that they have not been keeping pace with the growing problem,” David Harris, CEO of the AJC, said. “What’s needed now is enhanced, sustained action on many fronts to ensure that European Jews have a safe and secure future.”
The report, said to be the largest of its kind, surveyed some 16,000 people living in 12 EU member states. 85% of those questioned identified anti-Semitism as the biggest political problem in their country. 38% of respondents said that they considered emigration because of the threat of anti-Semitism.
Jews in Britain, Germany, and Sweden said that they saw the biggest increase in anti-Semitism.
Last week, the European Council recommended that all EU states adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of anti-Semitism.
The EU survey and European Council recommendation both come in the wake of a report on CNN showing a “frightening” increase of anti-Semitic incidents across Europe.
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