Wiesenthal Center Commends Adoption Of EU Declaration On Anti-Semitism As Signal European Govts Will Combat Anti-Jewish Hate Crimes
December 6, 2018
The Simon Wiesenthal Center commended today’s adoption of a declaration on fighting antisemitism by the 28-nation Council of the European Union. Mark Weitzman, Director of Government Affairs for the Wiesenthal Center, said “This Declaration could be a significant step in committing the EU to both fighting anti-Semitism and providing for the security of Europe’s Jews.
“On behalf of the Centre, I wish to personally thank EU Envoy on anti-Semitism, Katherina von Schnurbein, for all of her efforts to combat anti-Semitism. The declaration affirms that ‘Jewish citizens are, always have been and always will be, an integral and inseparable part of our European societies, as full citizens with a right to a sense of security and well being’,” declared Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Wiesenthal Center’s Paris-based Director of International Relations. ”But words alone are not enough. We take note that the declaration also calls on its member states to take specific steps to finance, enhance and upgrade security for Jewish communities and institutions, as well as increasing education about the Holocaust, anti-Semitism and Jewish life. The extent that the member states of the EU actually institute these steps will signal how the Jewish people’s future in Europe will unfold,” Samuels added.
Weitzman, who introduced and steered the Working Definition on Antisemitism to adoption in IHRA with the late Romanian IHRA Chair, Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, added “We are particularly glad to see the Declaration call ‘on the member states that have not done so yet to endorse the non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism employed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’ We urge all the EU member states to follow up on these recommendations as quickly as possible.”
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Center’s Associate Dean and Director of the Center’s Global Social Action Agenda added: “We commend the Austrian presidency of the European Council for their leadership in introducing the Declaration, and the 28 member States who supported it. The Simon Wiesenthal Center stands ready to cooperate with each of the 28 EU members and will closely monitor developments impacting our Jewish brethren.”
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).