Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) Bert-Jan Ruissen and Niclas Herbst hosted a conference to help fight antisemitism in Europe on Thursday.
The event, “The Multiple Faces of Antisemitism in Europe,” was held in Brussels and co-organized by the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) and the European Christian Political Movement. Dozens of MEPs as well as NGOs involved in Israel advocacy attended.
“It is important that the European Union takes the fight against antisemitism seriously,” said Ruissen, who also represents the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) in the European parliament. He said it is essential to see how the EU can encourage using the working definition of antisemitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) as a basis for combatting antisemitism. Most EU member states have already adopted the definition in principle.
The IAF works to educate and empower pro-Israel, faith-based legislators worldwide. IAF President Josh Reinstein said that “faith-based diplomacy in support for Israel is one of the most powerful tools available today to combat the steady rise of antisemitism around the world, including its most recent manifestation, anti-Zionism.”
Antisemitism rising in Europe and the US
Antisemitism is on the rise in Europe and the United States. According to a report released by the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization last year, antisemitic acts peaked in 2021, with more than 10 incidents per day. Around 50% of those acts were committed in Europe.
A CNN survey released five years ago found that a third of Europeans said they knew just a little or nothing about the Holocaust.
“Antisemitism turns out to be a fire that flares up again and again,” said IAF Europe Executive Director Leo van Doesburg at the event. “We must recognize and expose the multiple faces of antisemitism and combat them.
“It is good that the IHRA working definition of antisemitism has been adopted in most European countries, but it is now important that the principles of the working definition will be translated into legislation and policies and implemented in education and society,” he concluded.
Read the original article at the Jerusalem Post here.