Jewish Leaders Call for pan-European Action Against anti-Semitism

Sense of security among Jews in parts of Europe is 'at its lowest point since the end of the Holocaust,' delegation tells EU foreign policy chief.

Creteil rally against anti-Semitism, Dec. 7, 2014.
Creteil Rabbi Alain Senior delivers his speech during a gathering against anti-Semitism in Creteil, east of Paris, Sun. Dec. 7, 2014. AFP

A delegation of European Jewish leaders has asked the European Union to establish an anti-Semitism task force, the European Jewish Press reports.

The request came during a meeting between a European Jewish Congress delegation and EU foreign policy chief and European Commission Vice-President Federica Mogherini in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

“Now more than ever, the European Union needs to create a position and organization specifically geared towards finding long-lasting solutions for anti-Semitism and other forms of racism,” EJC President Moshe Kantor told Mogherini.

“The recent events demonstrate that the sense of security among Jews in parts of Europe is at its lowest point since the end of the Holocaust and many are leaving their homes as a result,’’ he said.

Kantor added that ''it is incumbent on the European Union to urgently place combating anti-Semitism as one of its highest priorities because this is a hatred that transcends borders and cannot be dealt with by any single nation on its own.”

The meeting came less than a week after four Jews were killed in an attack on a Paris kosher supermarket by an Islamic extremist.

In a statement following the meeting, Mogherini said that she had "expressed my deepest condolences following the tragic recent attacks in Paris. Friday's attack on the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris piled pain upon pain for the people of France and Europe as a whole."

However, she did not directly address the request for new European institutions to deal with anti-Semitism.

The next meeting of EU Foreign Ministers on February 19 in Brussels is scheduled to discuss ways to prevent the movement of people from Europe who go to Syria or Iraq to fight and come back. ‘’We will discuss how to work together with regional partners of the Arab region in particular to avoid the flow of terrorists,’’ Mogherini said.