The past three years have seen a marked increase in the rise of anti-Semitism throughout the world and particularly in Europe.  This anti-Semitism has manifested itself in violent attacks and vandalism against synagogues, cemeteries, schools, and other Jewish institutions, properties, and individuals; in anti-Israel rhetoric bordering on anti-Semitism by public figures, the media, and in grassroots demonstrations; and in a widespread tolerance for, or justification of, anti-Semitic sentiments among opinion molders.  Dozens of anti-Semitic incidents took place in Germany, France and England in 2003.  Many Jewish communities in Europe feel increasingly insecure, and in some countries, Jewish men and boys have been advised to avoid wearing kippot in public in the interest of personal security.  Last October, Mahathir Mohamad, former prime minister of Malaysia, said among other things at the Islamic Summit that, “today the Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them.”   In Istanbul, Turkey last November, truck bombs exploded nearly simultaneously in front of two synagogues filled with Jews during Sabbath prayers, killing 25 and wounding over 300.  

 

European leadership has been far too slow in reacting to these manifestations, in many cases explaining even violent attacks against Jews as an extension of the Arab-Israeli conflict or as petty crimes, while perpetrators of anti-Semitic attacks have not been seriously pursued or prosecuted.  A report on anti-Semitism sponsored by a European Union agency was suppressed. 

 

Over the past few months, there have been some positive steps taken in the fight against anti-Semitism in Europe.  The Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is preparing for its second conference on anti-Semitism, to be held in Berlin in April, 2004, which will highlight best practices in combating anti-Semitism, and will follow up on the first OSCE conference on anti-Semitism, held in June, 2003, in Vienna.  Refreshingly, leaders in a number of European countries have made strong declarations condemning anti-Semitism, and some countries have announced initiatives to counter hatred against Jews in the political, educational, law enforcement, and judicial systems.  

 

The JCPA believes:

 

 

 

The community relations field should:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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