Is Jewish life viable in Europe today?

Is Jewish life viable in Europe today?
Historic adoption of definition of anti-Semitism, first proposed by SWC's Mark Weitzman, and now adopted by international body will force European countries to confront the growing crisis head-on

June 9, 2016

Decades after the defeat of Nazi Germany, anti-Semitism is resurgent across much of Europe. This upsurge of anti-Semitism, together with the continuing threat of Islamist terrorism, and the spread of Holocaust denial and trivialization, are finally forcing European leaders to acknowledge the crisis. “If there’s no future for Jews in Europe, there’s no future for Europe” said Frans Timmermans, First Vice President of the European Commission.

But now there is a small but important ray of hope.

Just last week there was a major breakthrough. Thirty-one mostly European countries officially adopted a working definition of anti-Semitism declaring, “Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.

Photo: Mark Weitzman with IHRA Chair, Romanian Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu

Simple words but words adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) with the goal of getting politicians to act against hatred of Jews and to ensure that the Memory of the Shoah is preserved and protected.

Policy experts and diplomats seen gathered at the IHRA Plenary in Bucharest in May 2016, where a working definition of antisemitism was adopted. Photo: IHRA

SWC Director of Government Affairs, Mark Weitzman, Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliances' Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial told media outlets after the vote, “Persuading so many countries to agree on the definition … was an extremely significant step in trying to deal with anti-Semitism.”

But, this is just the beginning. The Center will push for the resolution’s adoption at the OSCE, at the European Union, to demand that the signatories take concrete steps against anti-Semitism. We will continue to combat anti-Semitism from the halls of the United Nations, of Congress and the Parliaments of the world and stand steadfast with our Jewish students on our nation’s university campuses.

Thank you