|Printable version||E-mail this to a friend|
"Europe without Jews would no longer be Europe"
The current situation in Europe of Anti-Semitism and future prospects for Europe’s Jewish communities were debated at a conference hosted by EP President Martin Schulz and First Vice-President Antonio Tajani on Tuesday.
“When we see that every fifth Jew in Europe has experienced verbal or physical violence, when these aggressions are getting more and more numerous, and when we see that the Jewish population in Europe has decreased from almost four million in 1945 to barely more than one million today, then we know that it is high time not only to make a clear political statement, but to take effective action as soon as possible. Europe has to be a better home for its Jewish citizens”, said the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz in his closing remarks.
“Some of us still have not understood that what makes us European is not our blood or religion but our strong adherence to our most fundamental values of tolerance, respect and liberty”, he added.
Opening the conference, Mr Tajani (EPP, IT), who is responsible for inter-religious dialogue for the Parliament, said “According to the Jewish Agency, almost ten thousand Jews moved to Israel in 2015, including eight thousand from France alone. This was double the 2014 figure. This, sadly, is the result of a persistent climate of hatred towards Jews: their numbers fell substantially from two million in Europe in 1991 to one million four hundred thousand in 2010. Yet Europe without Jews would no longer be Europe."
"This is why Europe, its institutions its member states and its citizens must oppose Anti-Semitism and fight it. The antidote is to remember, on the one hand, and look to the future, on the other. It is necessary to keep our consciousness and be proud of our identity”, he added.
Among the invited guests were former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth Lord Jonathan Sacks, who delivered a Keynote speech on “The Mutating Virus: Understanding Anti-Semitism”, European Rabbis Conference President Pinchas Goldschmidt, Brussels Chief Rabbi Albert Guigui and French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy.
MEPs Fulvio Martusciello (EPP, IT), President of the delegation to Israel, Cecilia Wikström (ALDE, SE), Vice-Chair of the Working Group on Anti-Semitism, and Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar (S&D, ES), Chair of the Working Group, led the panel discussions respectively on the current situation on Anti-Semitism in Europe, national patterns and experiences and future prospects.
Note to editors
The event is organised in the context of TFEU Art. 17, which provides for an open, transparent and regular dialogue with EU institutions and churches, religious associations, and philosophical and non-confessional organisations.
This is the second event in 2016. The first was held in April and concerned European Muslims facing radicalisation. Other events in this context took place in 2015, covering tackling radicalism and fundamentalism through education and the persecution of Christians in the world.
Latest News from
Aviation Safety: EC removes all Kazakh airlines from EU Air Safety List09/12/2016 16:25:00
The EC has ion updated the EU Air Safety List, the list of airlines that do not meet international safety standards, and are therefore subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union. All air carriers from Kazakhstan were removed from the list, while Iran Aseman Airlines was added.
EASO Guidance on reception conditions: operational standards & indicators09/12/2016 15:25:00
EASO has issued the Guidance on reception conditions: operational standards and indicators. This Guidance represents one of the key measures identified by the European Agenda on Migration for the field of reception.
Capital Markets Union: EC welcomes agreement to give companies easier access to capital markets09/12/2016 14:25:00
The EU has agreed on a new set of rules that support companies raising money on capital markets to invest and grow. It will also help investors to make better and more informed decisions.
EC welcomes agreement to ensure compliance of Intergovernmental Agreements in the field of energy with EU law09/12/2016 14:10:00
Negotiators of the European Parliament and the Council have agreed on having Intergovernmental Agreements in the field of gas & oil assessed by the EC before they are signed.
Car emissions: EC opens infringement procedures against 7 Member States for breach of EU rules09/12/2016 13:25:00
The EC is taking action against 7 Member States for failing to set up penalties systems to deter car manufacturers from violating car emissions legislation, or not applying such sanctions where a breach of law has occurred (including the UK).