In Wake of Attacks and Threats Across Europe, Wiesenthal Centre Urges EU Action: "The Reverberations of Hamas Missiles are already Hitting European Jewish Communities"

66 rue Laugier - 75017 Paris
Tel. +33-147237637 - Fax: +33-147208401

Paris, 2 January 2009

In Wake of Attacks and Threats Across Europe, Wiesenthal Centre Urges EU Action:
"The Reverberations of Hamas Missiles are Already Hitting European Jewish Communities"

In a New Year congratulatory letter to Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, upon assuming the Presidency of the European Union, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, drew attention to increasingly violent Middle East blowback against the Jewish communities of Europe.

Samuels noted that "2009 marks seventy years since the sacrifice of your country to Nazi terror and the consequences of Europe's appeasement," adding that "this year has begun inauspiciously for another small country, targeted by a hate and violence that - if unrestrained - would threaten freedom worldwide."

The letter commended the first political statement of the Czech European Presidency for its lucidity, citing Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg's endorsement of Israel's right to military action, in that "Hamas has put its bases and gun warehouses in densely populated areas... Hamas has excluded itself from serious political dialogue." The Minister explained his understanding for Israel as due to his "enjoying the luxury of telling the truth."

The letter called on Prague "to remind all 27 members of the European Union that, since 2003, all wings of Hamas - political, military and welfare - appear on the Union's list of terrorist organizations, i.e. banned from operating and fundraising in Europe, or as a negotiating partner with any member-state. This pariah status was enhanced by three conditions: ending terror, acceding to past Palestinian-Israeli agreements, accepting the State of Israel."

Samuels claimed that "in fact, we have witnessed contrary developments:
- the antisemitic conspiracy clauses of the 1988 Hamas Founding Covenant now
threaten Jewish communities worldwide;
- as its proxy, Iran has provided the upgraded terror missiles falling on Israel's southern cities as a clear precursor to its own nuclear design;
- Hamas' abuse of women, children, the elderly as human shields, in the schools and mosques from whence the missiles are launched, should be denounced as war crimes by human rights groups across Europe."

The Centre stated, "The reverberations of those missiles are already hitting Jewish communities throughout the E.U.: in France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Greece and Denmark, inter alia, pro-Hamas political demonstrations are laced with calls for 'Death to the Jews', graffiti, firebombs and violence to individuals."

Due to the danger, the Centre called on the Czech Presidency "to hold an EU special conference on 'The Antisemitism-Terrorism Nexus - Its Consequences for Europe'", offering "to work with the President's Chancellery in its preparation."

"The consequences of glorifying terror go far beyond today's Jewish targets. Just as Gaza must not remain a core of international terror, neither may Gaza nests be left to be laid in Paris, London, Berlin, Brussels or even Prague," concluded Samuels.

For further information, please contact Shimon Samuels at +33.609.77.01.58.