Is the EU finally ready to do something about rising anti-Semitism on the Continent? Maybe:
Figures including European Commission chief Romano Prodi, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Natan Sharansky banded together to denounce mounting attacks on Jewish targets in Europe.
“Anti-Semitism has returned. The monster is here with us once again,” European Jewish Congress (EJC) president Cobi Benatoff told the conference.
“What is of most concern to us, however, is the indifference of our fellow European citizens,” the Italian said.
The EJC and US-based World Jewish Congress urged the European Commission to set up committees drawn from EU governments and Jewish groups to monitor anti-Semitic incidents.
They also called for police crackdowns to ensure that those behind attacks on Jewish synagogues, schools and cemeteries are brought to justice, and for better education in Europe’s schools on the history of European Jewry.
Sharansky welcomed action taken along these lines by France, which is home to the EU’s largest numbers of Jews and Muslims along with its highest number of anti-Semitic incidents last year at 125.
Prodi — whose first visit when he became commission president in 1999 was to Auschwitz — vowed concrete action.
I’d be more hopeful if France and Germany were also willing to change their functionally anti-Semtic foreign policies.