EU Parliament asks for solid definition of antisemitism

EPA/IAN LANGSDON

A man walks past wreaths layed in front of the Hypercacher market by the city of Paris to mark the anniversary of the attack, in Paris, France, 05 January 2016.

EU Parliament asks for solid definition of antisemitism


Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn
+

The rise in anti-Semitism demands stronger action and a solid definition of antisemitism, urged today EU lawmakers.

The recent rise in anti-Semitism across the EU requires more and stronger action, MEPs said in a resolution approved on Thursday.

The resolution calls on EU Member States and the EU institutions and agencies to adopt and apply the working definition of antisemitism. The text urges members to: protect their Jewish citizens and Jewish institutions from hate crime and hate speech; support law enforcement efforts to identify and prosecute antisemitic attacks; appoint national coordinators on combating antisemitism; systematically and publicly condemn antisemitic statements; to promote education about the Holocaust in schools; and to review school textbooks to ensure that content about Jewish history and contemporary Jewish life stay clear of antisemitism.

It wants:

  • — Call for more effective prosecution and cross-border cooperation

  • — EU countries asked to appoint national coordinators to combat anti-Semitism

  • — Holocaust history should be taught in schools

  • — Leading politicians urged to denounce any anti-Semitic statement

The definition adopted by the group’s 31 member countries reads: “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.”

So far, the UK, Austria, Romania and Israel have adopted the definition.

Hate speech and violence against Europe’s Jewish citizens are incompatible with EU values, so all EU member states must take measures to ensure the security of their Jewish citizens, say MEPs. They call on leading national politicians to oppose anti-Semitic statements systematically and publicly, and urge every member state to appoint a national coordinator to combat anti-Semitism.

Racist motives should be deemed an aggravating factor in criminal offences. And anti-Semitic acts committed on the internet should also be prosecuted, says the resolution.

MEPs also call for good cross-border cooperation in prosecution especially in the case of terrorist acts. Police forces should set up special anti-hate crime units, and to make prosecution more efficient and effective, all member states should adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of what constitutes anti-Semitism.

Online intermediaries, such as search engines, social media, and app platforms, should take stronger action to combat anti-Semitic hate speech, say MEPs. The history of the Holocaust (or Shoah) should be taught in schools and history books should give an accurate description of Jewish history and life and avoid all forms of anti-Semitism, they add.

In a separate vote, MEPs gave their consent to the working priorities for 2018-2022 of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, including asylum for and integration of refugees and migrants, fighting racism and xenophobia, protecting personal data and Roma inclusion.

In talks, Parliament’s negotiators have pressed the EU Commission and Council to make police work and counter-terrorism legislation fully open to scrutiny by the agency – an idea that they have promised to look into.

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn
+