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May 13, 2015 3:47 pm

EU Commissioner: Europe Without the Jews is Not Europe

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

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European Commission First Vice President: Frans Timmermans. Photo: YouTube Screenshot

A “Europe without the Jews is no longer Europe,” the first vice president of the European Commission Frans Timmermans told a gathering of the continent’s Orthodox religious leaders on Wednesday.

“We need your contribution to have this debate,” said Timmermans, who spoke to the 29th convention of the Conference of European Rabbis via a recorded message from Brussels.

Timmermans — who heads the Commission’s “dialogue with religions” — said recent attacks at a kosher supermarket in Paris and at the main synagogue in Copenhagen were just the “tip of the iceberg” of European antisemitism.

“Antisemitic behavior and speech run deeper,” he told the conference.

He said the conference’s choice to convene this year in Toulouse is “highly symbolic,” referring to the 2012 shooting spree at a Jewish school in the city that left three children and another man dead.

“We will never forget the horrific shooting,” he said, adding that it was “a very dark day for Jewish life in Europe.”

He vowed that the “European Commission and the European Union would fight antisemitism wherever it rears its ugly head.”

In January, the first vice president said that the European Commission was committed to combating antisemitism in Europe, and that it would put forth a new strategy to do so by this month.

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