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July 22, 2014 11:18 am

Germany, France, Italy Foreign Ministers Condemn ‘Anti-Semitic Rhetoric and Hostility Against Jews’ After Violent Protests

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Rioters outside a Paris synagogue. Photo: Facebook.

The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Italy on Tuesday said “anti-Semitic agitation and hostility against Jews, attacks against people of Jewish faith and against synagogues have no place in our societies,” after dozens of protests in European cities against Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, some of which turned violent.

The statement was signed by Laurent Fabius of France, Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany, and Frederica Mogherini of Italy.

The three foreign ministers denounced “the ugly anti-Semitic statements, demonstrations and attacks of the last few days,” and stressed that “nothing, including the dramatic military confrontation in Gaza, justifies such actions in Europe.”

They vowed to use “all legal measures available to constitutional democracies when the threshold to anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia is crossed.”

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They said, “Together and in our individual countries, we will do everything to ensure that our citizens can continue to live safely and peacefully and free from anti-Semitic hostility.”

In New York, American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris said, “At a time when ‘Death to the Jews’ chants can be heard at public gatherings in European capitals, allegedly in protests against Israel, the bold, timely and unambiguous words of the three foreign ministers send a strong message that should be embraced by all EU member states.”

Harris said, “Now the challenge will be to translate the clear words into equally clear actions. Threats to Europe’s Jews threaten Europe’s core values and very future.”

He added that AJC offices in Brussels, Berlin, Paris and Rome have pressed local and regional officials on “the surge of anti-Semitism in several European countries.”

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