Urgent wake-up call for EU to tackle Antisemitism

Brussels, 10 December 2018 – The findings of an EU-wide survey on experiences and perceptions of antisemitism highlight that antisemitism is pervasive and growing in Europe. The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) therefore welcomes a declaration on the fight against antisemitism unanimously adopted by the 28 EU Member States.

Amel Yacef, Chair of the European Network Against Racism, said: “Racist stereotypes and myths about Jewish people have persisted in Europe and are increasingly materialising into physical violence, harassment and hate speech. EU Member States have finally taken steps to challenge Antisemitism. We now expect governments to implement non-racist, consistent measures to combat Antisemitism, alongside other forms of racism.”

The EU survey shows worrying trends: about 90% of respondents feel that antisemitism is growing in their country and point to online hatred as particularly problematic. Antisemitism appears to be so deep-rooted in society that regular harassment has become part of Jews’ everyday life. Over a third avoid taking part in Jewish events or visiting Jewish sites because they fear for their safety.

If we want to make progress to combat Antisemitism it is crucial we understand its multiple manifestations, with the Jewish communities affected. States need to ensure effective protection by properly recording, prosecuting and sanctioning hate crime and speech – including online – and that victims’ rights are respected, in line with EU laws on victims’ rights and racist crime. European Commissioners and heads of States should also consistently condemn political hate speech and recognise all manifestations of Antisemitism, as well as other forms of structural racism, and the impact of State-fuelled rhetoric on all groups at risk of racism.

The Council Declaration proposes a number of concrete measures to better protect the Jewish community in Europe and to combat Antisemitism. ENAR now calls on EU Member States to adopt national action plans against racism which would include specific measures to tackle different forms of racism, including Antisemitism, but also Islamophobia, Afrophobia and Antigypsyism. This would enable governments to have an indivisible approach to anti-racism, with efficient policies, and to reinforce cross-community engagement and solidarity. The European Commission should also adopt a roadmap on combatting Antisemitism, establishing clear objectives for Member States, that would consolidate its legacy on this issue.

For further information, contact:
Georgina Siklossy, Senior Communication and Press Officer
Tel: +32 (0)2 229 35 77 - Mobile: +32 (0)473 490 531 - Email: georgina@enar-eu.org - Web: www.enar-eu.org

Notes to the editor:
1. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights’s report “Experiences and perceptions of antisemitism - Second survey on discrimination and hate crime against Jews in the EU” outlines the findings of a major repeat survey into how Jews experience antisemitism across 12 EU Member States. It is available at: http://fra.europa.eu/en/press-release/2018/persistent-antisemitism-hangs-over-eu
2. The EU Council unanimously adopted a declaration on the fight against antisemitism on 6 December: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/12/06/fight-against-antisemitism-council-declaration/
3. The European Network Against Racism (ENAR aisbl) stands against racism and discrimination and advocates equality and solidarity for all in Europe. We connect local and national anti-racist NGOs throughout Europe and voice the concerns of ethnic and religious minorities in European and national policy debates.

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