EU mulls adopting definition of Jew hatred, says new anti-Semitism czar. (TOI).
Katharina von Schnurbein speaks of ‘worrying spike in anti-Semitic incidents,’ but says there’s no need to fear the influx of Syrian refugees.
At Israel’s request, the European Union may formulate a clear definition of anti-Semitism in a bid to better fight the phenomenon, the EU’s new point person for combating Jew-hatred said.
“The definition of anti-Semitism is very disputed, even among Jews themselves. The main dissent revolves around the question of manifestations against the State of Israel. We’re currently looking into this issue,” Katharina von Schnurbein told The Times of Israel in a telephone interview last week from Brussels. “One thing is clear: Anti-Semitism can sometimes hide behind anti-Zionism. That is certainly our understanding here.”
During the meet, Israel asked the EU to adopt a formal definition of anti-Semitism, said Akiva Tor, who heads the Foreign Ministry’s bureau for world Jewish affairs and world religions. “This would enable better monitoring and better law enforcement,” he told The Times of Israel on Monday.
“We also expressed our view that any formal definition of anti-Semitism must include the issue of delegitimization of Israel and the denial of Israel’s right to exist as forms of anti-Semitism,” he said. “We found the EU quite attentive and we look forward to working with them further on it.”
Israel, however, did not ask the EU to define support for the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement as anti-Semitic, aware that calls for a boycott arise from a variety of sentiments and generally fall under the right for free speech, and thus are unlikely to be outlawed.
“When the right of the existence of Israel is doubted — that is a clear case [of anti-Semitism],” Schnurbein said. “But as I said, this definition itself is not easy, also for Jews. We’re looking into this issue.”
In 2013, the EU’s agency for fighting racism suddenly dropped its definition of anti-Semitism — which included vilification of Israel — from its website, drawing criticism from Jewish groups.
“It was a working definition that was put on the website of the Fundamental Rights Agency, which is under the umbrella of the European Union institutions but is independent. For different reasons, they decided to take it off,” she said.“That is worrying. The Commission fully understands the concern of the Jewish community and we take them seriously,” she said. “Anti-Semitism, no matter how marginal, is never acceptable. There’s no tolerance for any form of racism and anti-Semitism in our European values.” Hmmmm.......Actions speak louder than words, permit me to doubt. Read the full story here.