The European Jewish Congress (EJC) said Thursday that certain Jewish communities in Europe are in grave danger after a recent wave of anti-Semitism, some of it officially sanctioned.
Recently, the organization said, a respected and government-funded Catholic school, the College of the Sacred Heart, in Antwerp, hosted a ‘Palestine Day’, which was replete with anti-Semitic references and activities for youngsters. One stall at the event was titled “Throw the soldiers into the sea” where children were invited to throw replicas of Jewish and Israeli soldiers into two large tanks, EJC said.
Last weekend, an event organized for Jewish children in Malmo was reportedly attacked by a gang of thugs who shouted “Heil Hitler” and “Jewish pigs”. The gang even entered the area hosting the children’s event and damaged property. This event occurred only a few weeks after Malmo mayor, Ilmar Reepalu, was reelected in the Swedish city.
Earlier in this year after a surge of anti-Semitism hit the Malmo Jewish community, Reepalu considered this an understandable consequence of the Israel-Palestine conflict and claimed “we accept neither Zionism nor anti-Semitism,” equating Jewish national self-determination with hate and racism.
In recent months, German former Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin, Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for Trade and Emilio Menendez del Valle, Spanish MEP, have all made anti-Semitic comments.
“These events arriving soon after the anti-Semitic comments from Sarrazin, De Gucht and Menendez del Valle demonstrate that anti-Semitism is at best actively promoted and at worst ignored by some officials in Europe,” Dr. Moshe Kantor, president of the EJC said. “Due to this intolerable situation, small Jewish communities, like Malmo, are teetering on the brink of extinction.
“Small Jewish communities are facing a situation where they are being physically, verbally and psychologically threatened by fundamentalist elements and their extreme left-wing cohorts on one side and the far-right neo-Nazis on the other,” he continued. “If they can’t receive protection or respite from mainstream officials then we are entering a very dark period for the Jews in Europe.”
The EJC is calling on European governments and the European Union to launch a campaign against intolerance and anti-Semitism, so to remind European citizens that the new Europe was established after the Second World War on the concept of “Never Again.”
As co-Chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, Dr. Kantor will be hosting a conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia, on October 24-25th, titled ‘Towards Reconciliations, Experience, Techniques and Opportunities for Europe’, which will be dealing with and working towards finding solutions for issues of racism, intolerance and conflict.