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January 24, 2019 12:08 pm

Jewish Agency Chief Warns of Antisemitic ‘Plague’ in Europe

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Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog (center) attends an Oct. 29 memorial service in Jerusalem for the 11 Jewish worshippers killed in a shooting attack the day before at the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue. Photo: Aharon Krohn/Flash90. – Jews face a growing threat in Europe because of rampant antisemitism, Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog said on Wednesday at a European Jewish Congress event.

The event was held at the European Parliament in Brussels ahead of  International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27. Herzog was the keynote speaker.

“We can no longer ignore the fact that Jews are once again unsafe in the streets of Europe,” said Herzog.

“Antisemitism in Europe is now a raging crisis. Again. And it must be stopped. As it pertains to antisemitism, we are facing among the darkest periods of Jewish history in Europe, in recent times. There are far too many examples to cite,” Herzog said, noting that this sentiment is shared across the board among Jews in Europe.

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“When 90 percent of European Jews say antisemitism has increased in their home country, we understand we are dealing with a plague,” he told the audience.

Herzog warned that “30 percent of Europeans do not know anything about the Holocaust” and called this “a threat.”

“I call on EU states, who have yet to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, as they have been asked to do by the Council of the EU, to do so urgently. This should not be a matter of politicized debate. We must unite the efforts and goodwill of all Europeans, so that we can again overcome hatred and move our societies towards progress,” said Herzog.

The IHRA’s definition antisemitism, adopted in May 2016, states: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

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