24 July 2014 – Brussels – The AJC Transatlantic Institute calls on Members of the European Parliament to address the new wave of anti-Semitism in the European Union and urges as a first concrete step a public hearing on this issue in Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE).
“Once again, we are hearing the screams of “Death to the Jews” across the streets of Europe,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute. “These are unfortunately not isolated incidents simply triggered by the current Gaza conflict but follow a steady rise of anti-Semitic incidents over the past few years, a period of relatively quiet in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” added Schwammenthal.
“We thus urge the LIBE Committee to investigate as soon as possible the sources of this resurgent hatred and identify policy options for a renewed and united fight against anti-Semitism, which ultimately threatens not only Jews but all of Europe and its core values,” Schwammenthal said.
At so-called pro-Palestinian demonstrations over the past few days, protestors, often congregating in front of synagogues, have chanted hateful, anti-Semitic slurs, including calls of "Death to the Jews." Jewish places of worship and properties have been ransacked. Peaceful supporters of Israel have been intimidated and attacked.
Last year, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency published a landmark study on anti-Semitism. It showed that a large number of Jews are feeling so threatened in Europe that they are staying away from Jewish institutions and even considering emigrating.
“Given the reality of the threat, such as the murder of four people in the Jewish Museum of Brussels by a French-born Islamist terrorist just two months ago, many Jewish families are not only considering immigration but are actually leaving Europe, ending a 2,000 year old history,” Schwammenthal said. “The European Parliament and particularly its LIBE Committee have to play a key role in fighting the new rise of anti-Semitism.”