Countering the age-old hatred in Europe
AJC is at the forefront of the fight against the resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. Within living memory of the Holocaust, the remnants of Europe’s Jewish communities have endured a steep rise in anti-Semitic terrorism, including physical attacks and murder. Since 2012 alone, at least 15 people have been killed in anti-Jewish violence in the EU. Not surprisingly, the emigration of European Jews to Israel and the U.S. has also increased significantly.
AJC Strategy Conference on Combating Anti-Semitism
TAI hosted AJC’s groundbreaking conference “A Defining Moment for Europe,” which presented European governments an action plan to address the intensifying crisis of anti-Semitism. The participants were exclusively EU officials, members of the European Parliament, diplomats and ambassadors of EU member states, journalists, and leaders of Jewish communities from across Europe.
In the first such conference for the Brussels policy community since the dramatic rise in anti-Jewish violence, 25 of the EU's 28 member states were officially represented through their diplomats, along with the U.S., Canada, and Switzerland.
AJC Strategy Conference on Combating Anti-Semitism in Europe.
Jan Jambon, Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Security and the Interior, and Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers, and Gender Equality, delivered keynote addresses at the opening session. Both acknowledged that the surge of anti-Semitic incidents poses a fundamental threat to individual European countries and to the EU as a whole.
An EU Special Envoy for Combating Anti-Semitism
AJC has long urged the EU to appoint a special envoy to combat anti-Semitism in Europe. At the European Commission’s first Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans announced the creation of this high-level post, which is currently held by Katharina von Schnurbein. AJC was the only non-European organization officially represented at the colloquium.
The Working Definition of Anti-Semitism
Following TAI’s campaign over several years, including numerous public events and scores of advocacy meetings with members of the European Parliament, the EU legislature officially endorsed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Working Definition of Anti-Semitism. The definition crucially encompasses contemporary forms of anti-Semitism, such as the demonization of Israel and holding Jews responsible for Israel’s actions, both real and imagined. Before that, TAI also successfully advocated for the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties to hold its first-ever hearing on anti-Semitism.