New York, NY, December 6, 2018 … ADL welcomed today’s declaration by the 28 European Union countries that they will work to combat anti-Semitism in Europe.
The Council of the European Union unanimously adopted the “Declaration on the Fight Against Anti-Semitism and the Development of a Common Security Approach to Better Protect Jewish Communities and Institutions in Europe.” The statement recognizes that “antisemitic hatred remains widespread” and that “Jewish communities in some E.U. Member States feel particularly vulnerable to terrorist attacks.” It calls on every member state to ensure the security and wellbeing of their Jewish communities.
“We welcome this statement by the EU and we want to see the declaration followed with concrete action,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director. “The EU was created to create harmony between the nations of Europe, and by extension includes all of their people. Now that there’s been a clear acknowledgement of the situation facing Jewish communities across Europe, governments need to take steps to ensure that European Jewish communities are safe and have a future that enables them to live openly and worship freely as Jews.”
"Jewish communities are experiencing anxiety and fear due to increasing anti-Semitism across Europe," said Greenblatt. "European governments must ensure greater security for European Jewish communities and take measures to enhance their ability to live openly and freely as Jews."
Anti-Semitism has been on the rise in Europe for years and anti-Semitic stereotypes still hold broad sway. There have been several high-profile violent attacks, such as the January 2015 siege on a kosher supermarket in Paris where four Jews were killed. Recent data show Europe’s anti-Semitism is widespread. Last month, the French government announced a 69% increase in anti-Semitic incidents over the first nine months of this year. A survey of the Dutch Jewish community this fall found that 1 in 9 Jews have experienced anti-Semitic violence.
A CNN European survey released in late November found widespread acceptance of anti-Semitic stereotypes, poor knowledge of the Holocaust, and barely a majority (54%) in favor of the very existence of Israel.
The EU declaration called on all members states which have not yet done so to endorse the Working Definition of Anti-Semitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). That definition includes widespread contemporary examples of anti-Semitism, such as comparing the actions of Israel to those of Nazi Germany.
ADL has focused on combating cyberhate and training European law enforcement on the history and current manifestations of anti-Semitism, two topics directly addressed in the declaration.