EU strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life

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EGSZB-vélemény: EU strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life

Key points

 

The EESC:

  • believes that any phenomenon of antisemitism is incompatible with European values and norms, as it leads to violations of the law and to exclusion, which is a threat not only to the communities concerned and Jewish life, but also to Europe's heritage and present, and to a democratic European future;
  • broadly supports the establishment of the Strategy[1] and the fact that it was preceded by a broad consultation process in 2021. It strongly supports that the Strategy is not only about combating antisemitism, but also about fostering Jewish life;
  • firmly believes that antisemitism is not only a violation of the law affecting European Jews, but is also a test of the European idea, European coexistence, the rule of law, fundamental rights and democracy;
  • endorses the working definition of antisemitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)[2] and strongly encourages all Member States to adopt it and make it the basis of their policy action;
  • supports the inclusion of education as one of the priorities of the Strategy, as it plays a key role in combating and preventing antisemitism;
  • believes that in the media, all constitutional and EU legal instruments should be consistently used to tackle antisemitic content, while improving knowledge and understanding of Jewish life in more balanced and sensitive reporting;
  • proposes that the Commission consider how to safeguard the right of Jewish communities to continue their beliefs and rituals when formulating future policies, as a means of fostering Jewish life in Europe;
  • believes that all Member States have a fundamental obligation to ensure that their citizens have the freedom to hold religious beliefs and practise their religions without fear;
  • encourages the European Commission to give the fight against antisemitism and the strategic agenda for the promotion of Jewish life a strong foreign policy dimension in all aspects of the cooperation with third countries and international organisations;
  • recommends the formation of a permanent unit at Council level to monitor and combat antisemitism, in order to implement the Strategy even more effectively.

 


[1]           Commission Communication (2021) 615 final; EU Strategy on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life.

[2]           "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." https://www.holocaustremembrance.com/resources/working-definitions-charters/working-definition-antisemitism.