12 March 2015 – Strasbourg – The AJC Transatlantic Institute welcomes the many positive contributions in yesterday’s European Parliament debate on the rise of anti-Semitism. Specifically noteworthy were the calls by MEPs for a special EU envoy to deal with this resurgent hatred and the need for member state governments to provide for the security of Jewish institutions.
It is however deplorable that this long-overdue debate was scheduled for so late last night that a low turnout among lawmakers and lack of media coverage was all but guaranteed. The discussion started only at about 11 PM yesterday as the last agenda item of a long plenary session that opened at 9 AM, a fact that many of the speakers also criticized.
“Whether intended or not, the timing risks creating the impression that the European Parliament was only going through the motions of dealing with this important issue,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute. “If Parliament wants to dispel such an unfortunate impression, it must schedule a new debate at a prominent time slot while ensuring that this next debate would focus on anti-Semitism alone and be followed by a resolution calling for specific actions against this resurgent hatred,” Schwammenthal added.
Last night’s debate was headlined the “Rise of anti-semitism, islamophobia and violent extremism in the EU” and did not pass any resolution.
Since the Toulouse attacks in 2012, Islamist terrorists have murdered 13 Jews in France, Belgium and Denmark. Anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise throughout much of Europe, doubling last year in France and the U.K. from already high levels.
The AJC Transatlantic Institute has long called on the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee to hold a hearing on this problem and for the plenary to have a proper debate that should conclude with a strong resolution.