AJC, Alongside Partners, Issues Recommendations to EU on Fighting Antisemitism

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AJC, Alongside Partners, Issues Recommendations to EU on Fighting Antisemitism

2 June 2021, Brussels – The AJC Transatlantic Institute alongside other major international Jewish organizations published a set of recommendations to combat antisemitism and foster Jewish life in Europe. Presented today to the European Commission, the roadmap comes ahead of the Commission's publication of a first ever strategy to combat anti-Jewish bigotry announced last December.

“Within living memory of the Holocaust, we have witnessed an unprecedented surge of violent antisemitic attacks in Europe and America, sending shockwaves through the Jewish world and beyond. We hope these recommendations will help guide the EU as it draws up its first strategy on combating antisemitism,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, director of the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Brussels-based EU Office, the AJC Transatlantic Institute.

The recommendations build on the Council Declaration on mainstreaming the fight against antisemitism across policy areas, adopted unanimously by all EU member states in December 2020, and make concrete proposals for a wide spectrum of EU policy portfolios.

Recommendations include:

● Facilitating the recognition, monitoring of antisemitic incidents.

● Providing heightened security and victim support and ensure the judicial system robustly prosecutes antisemitic hate crimes.

● Integrating the fight against antisemitism into the EU’s integration and inclusion agenda, digital policy and its mandate in the field of education.

● Strengthening the existing legal framework to protect essential Jewish practices such as religious slaughter and male circumcision.

● Educating about Europe’s rich Jewish cultural heritage.

● Safeguarding the memory of the Holocaust against trivialization and distortion.

● Promoting the fight against antisemitism in European external action, including in international partnerships, political and human rights dialogues with third countries, and in the EU’s neighborhood and enlargement process.

Alongside the AJC Transatlantic Institute, the other co-initiators of the document include the European Jewish Congress (EJC), the World Jewish Congress (WJC), B’nai B’rith International (BBI), The European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS), the European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage (AEPJ), the European Union for Progressive Judaism (EUPJ), B’nai B’rith Europe (BBE), and CEJI – A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe. 

All signatories agreed that the European Commission must respond to the dangerous spike in antisemitic attacks. The groups recognize and applaud the sustained efforts in recent years to curb this age-old scourge and expect the European Commission to widen and deepen its work in the upcoming EU strategy, which was announced by European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas earlier this year.

We look forward to continued engagement with the European Commission to see these recommendations become part of the future EU Strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, as well as help to raise awareness and serve as a useful roadmap in the coming years.