And with antisemitism significantly on the rise in Europe, as shown in this BBC synopsis of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency's [FRA's] just released major report (to which it gives the link), it's little wonder that Israeli parliamentarian Dr Shimon Ohayon, who chairs the Knesset's Lobby for the Struggle Against Antisemitism, has been stressing in meetings with representatives of the European Union, including members of the European Parliament and the EU's deputy envoy to Israel, that the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism (text here) should be fully implemented by all European agencies.
"Antisemitism in Europe is at its greatest peak since the end of the Second World War and there are now places on the continent where Jews can no longer live and many others where no outward expressions of Jewishness are tolerated. Europe needs to deal more seriously with this rise in hate which is creating an untenable situation for the Jews of Europe. However, to really fight Antisemitism, the European Union first needs a fundamental definition which law enforcement agencies and judicial bodies can use to prosecute those who target Jews and Jewish institutions.
A back in Budapest
I call on all relevant European agencies to recognize and legally ratify the Working Definition of Antisemitism as adopted in 2005.
The lack of a unified and vigorous definition means that anti-Semites will continue to act with impunity knowing that their actions can not be prosecuted,” MK Ohayon. “We must not allow anti-Semites to define hate. [Emphasis added] Jews need protection before the law and the law needs guidance or it will be rendered useless and irrelevant.
It's back in Germany
There are many anti-Semites who have been fighting against the ‘Working Definition’ for many years so they can continue their attacks on Jews and the Jewish State. The European Union needs to tell these people that their racism and hatred will no longer be acceptable and their actions will be punishable before the law."Ohayon's call has been echoed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. In a letter to the EU's Foreign Affairs chief, Baroness Ashton, written from Paris on 6 November, the Center's director for international relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, points out:
"The BBC Trust, in addressing a complaint, had upheld the definition, in characterizing as anti-Semitic, a broadcaster’s critique of comments on Israel made by a Member of the UK Parliament. The Trust has now, apparently, reversed its ruling following the Definition’s removal, claiming:
In the land of L'Affaire Dreyfus
‘A press officer at the FRA has explained that this was a discussion paper and was never adopted by the EU as a working definition, although it has been on the FRA website until recently when it was removed during a clear-out of non-official documents. The link to the FRA site provided by the complainant in his appeal no longer works.’
.... [He recalled the] hard work in negotiating the document and the delay in its publication. Nevertheless, its acceptance and dissemination represented an achievement for the EU in the struggle against anti-Semitism. Indeed, its removal is even more disconcerting just as the FRA is about to issue a further study of the worrying rise in anti-Jewish attacks across Europe."
|A dark sentiment in Edinburgh|
"One can only speculate the reaction to a similar move related to Islamophobia."Adding his voice to the demand is Dr Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, who, notes the BBC synopsis, states:
"the fact that a quarter of Jews are not able to express their Jewishness because of fear should be a watershed moment for the continent of Europe and the European Union.
A darker one still on a north London pavement
The Jewish reality in Europe is of great concern and the authorities need to deal with incidents of hate and intolerance in a holistic manner, to really combat these manifestations before it is too late.
We would like to see concrete steps being taken, including creating legislation to specifically deal with anti-Semitism and racism, bolstering law enforcement agencies and ensure a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism, even, and perhaps specifically, when opinion-shapers and decision-makers engage in these forms of hate."When, incidentally, will the BBC, so politically correct in most things, adopt this spelling of antisemitism, one that, favoured by the Vidal Sassoon Centre, has been in use for a number of years, and which expresses the fact that since there's no such force as "semitism" there is no counter to that non-existent force?
|Ben White reacts ...|