Wiesenthal Centre Europe: A Statement on European Parliament Briefing

In March of this year, the SWC-Europe agreed with the Brussels-based European Jewish Association (EJA) to host a briefing at the European Parliament on the "Antisemitism of Hamas".

The EJA associated this event with the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) party group.

The event was to have been chaired by Dutch MEP Bas Belder, who was, however, invited to join a mission to Israel on the same date.

Bulgarian MEP, Angel Dzhambazki, replaced him as Chair, while alongside him sat British Conservative MEP Charles Tannock, who had, in a previous EP, led a Wiesenthal Centre-supported campaign to investigate EU funding of the Palestinian Authority.

EJA Executive Director, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, noted, "From experience, the ECR did not admit extreme right parties".

Bulgarian B"nai Brith's serious allegations against MEP Dzhambazki were raised yesterday by the Rabbi. Dzhambazki refuted the claims, calling them "defamatory". He also stated that "the images attached to those allegations were not of the Lukov marches", as was claimed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre European office works with Roma NGO's against Gypsophobia in Eastern Europe, with Gay rights groups as in the campaign for restitution of the Berlin pre-war Institute now
housing the Schwule Museum. Likewise we have defended Muslim writers in Algeria, Egypt and Italy.

The Centre would never give cover to racists or bigots in any context, including the European Parliament or the French National Front.

Bulgaria's Jewish community council, 'Shalom', have said they cooperate with all parties, including Dzhambazki's. The only exception is the extreme right Ataka.

The truth of the allegations should be resolved in or out of Court. The lethal threat of Hamas can not, however, be the victim of those charges.

Dr.Shimon Samuels,
Director for International Relations
Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Paris