ADL Welcomes Personal Commitment from European Commission Vice President to Address Anti-Semitism

New York, NY, October 1, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed today’s announcement by European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans that special coordinators for anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hatred will be appointed and will report directly to him.

In his remarks at an E.U. meeting on human rights, Mr. Timmermans took personal responsibility for the European Commission’s activities on these issues, saying he wanted “to be in direct control” and have concerns “on my desk immediately.”

“Anti-Semitic incidents have risen dramatically in Europe over the recent years both in quantity and intensity, with murders and violent assaults, and our polling in Europe has shown disturbing levels of anti-Semitic attitudes in too many European countries,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL National Director. “While some national governments are taking decisive action, the European Commission also has a role to play and we welcome the personal commitment of its second highest official.”

Mr. Greenblatt added, “The E.U.’s own human rights agency reported on the ‘gross underreporting’ of anti-Semitic incidents and the problem that poses to develop targeted and effective policies against anti-Semitism.  Commitments must be converted to action, and the first action must be to understand the scope of the problem.”

A recent ADL poll in 100 countries found that 34 percent of those surveyed in Eastern Europe, and 24 percent in Western Europe, harbor anti-Semitic attitudes.

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