July 21, 2014 – Brussels -- AJC calls on the European Union to convene an extraordinary meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers to address the wave of violence against Jews across Europe.
“From Berlin to Paris, from London to Brussels, we are once again hearing the blood-curdling screams of ‘Death to the Jews’,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris, who has been cited by ten European countries for his work in human rights. “Ministers responsible for security and combating anti-Semitism should meet urgently to deal with this poisonous hatred that threatens not only Jews, but the very societies that comprise the EU.”
Moreover, Harris called on the 28 EU foreign ministers, who are slated to meet in Brussels tomorrow, to “unequivocally and unanimously condemn the targeting of Jews in the streets of Europe.” Most manifestations of anti-Semitic hatred have been taking place at so-called pro-Palestinian rallies.
“Jews are physically attacked in broad daylight and Jewish houses of worship and property are firebombed ostensibly out of ‘solidarity’ with Gaza,” Harris said.
“Now is the moment for all European governments to speak up, as French Prime Minister Manuel Valls did. Speaking at a ceremony to commemorate the victims of the Vel’ d’Hiv roundup of Jews ahead of their deportation from Paris in 1944 to Nazi death camps, Valls condemned recent anti-Semitic violence that occurred during protests in France against Israel. “Traditional anti-Semitism, this old disease of Europe,” said Valls, “is joined by a new anti-Semitism that cannot be denied or concealed, that we must face. It happens on the social networks and in workers’ neighborhoods, among ignorant young men who hide their hatred of Jews behind a façade of anti-Zionism or hatred of the State of Israel.”
Harris pointed out that the recent spate of assaults on Jews is not an isolated phenomenon. Rather, it comes on the heels of the horrific attacks in Toulouse, which left four Jews dead in 2012, and the murder in May of four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels by a French-born Jihadi. The new attacks provide further evidence of the already documented steady rise in anti-Semitic incidents in a number of European countries over the past few years.