Jewish organizations fear rise of anti-Semitism in the EU during elections
The eventual success of right-wing extremist parties in the EP elections could lead to a strengthening of anti-Semitic rhetoric in Europe and could contribute to increased attacks against Jewish people. Rabbi Andrew Baker, the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on Combating Anti-Semitism, warned of such a possibility on Monday.
According to Baker, anti-Semitic sentiment can be observed in all EU countries today, manifesting itself differently in different places. "European right-wing extremist parties have included anti-Semitic positions in their programs. None of them is free of anti-Semitism, even if it's not a main point of their program," he said recently at a meeting of American and European Jewish organizations in Berlin.
Baker says anti-Semitism can be traced in all European countries today. Its most frequent manifestations are anti-Jewish texts spread online or efforts to deny or relativize the Holocaust.
In many countries, however, physical assaults against Jewish people or efforts by some organizations to abolish traditional Jewish rituals can be observed. Baker includes a recent attempt by German child protection organizations to ban the ritual circumcision of boys as one example.
"We are encountering an attack on the basis of our faith, a violation of our freedom of religious worship," Baker said of the anti-circumcision movement. Such manifestations of anti-Semitism differ depending on the EU Member State involved.
In countries that were once under the Soviet sphere of influence, Baker says an older type of anti-Semitism is still displayed, related to the dissemination of stereotypes about Jewish people. Such stereotypes are accompanied by hateful rhetoric which can be heard in various parts of society, but physical assaults on Jewish individuals are rare.
In West European countries the situation is different, with more violent anti-Semitic incidents occurring. Baker says this is partially due to the radicalization of Muslim immigrants in those countries.
The fact that the Middle East peace process has made only minimal progress also influences the situation. Baker says many Europeans do not perceive any difference between Israel and the Jewish communities in their own countries and take the side of the Palestinians in the Middle East conflict.
- Czech MEPs welcome European Commission lawsuit against Austria over different allowances for non-expatriate children of EU workers
- Czech Foreign Affairs Minister tells ROMEA TV that Brexit and COVID-19 are causing problems for UK residents hoping to return
- Associated Press: Holocaust survivors reminded of WWII by COVID-19 pandemic
- European Roma Grassroots Organisations network to European Commission: Member States don't find discrimination a priority
- EUobserver on how anti-Roma racism is being exploited during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Czech and Slovak extremists do their best to profit from the COVID-19 pandemic, attacking the EU and public broadcast media
- Romani activist will seek to become chair of Progressive Slovakia party
- European Commission calls for public recommendations about its Framework for National Roma Inclusion Strategies by 16 March
- EP cancels Roma Week, online consultation about Roma strategy even more important now
- Newly-elected Slovak MP Jarmila Vaňová: I thank Romani voters for coming out and demanding change
- MEPs condemn rise of antisemitism in Europe, Czech MEP defends Hungary, blames migration
- Czech Police investigate distribution of antisemitic book after media reports