BRUSSELS – European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor believes that the situation of European Jewry “is at its worst since the end of World War II.”
“Jews are afraid to walk the streets in Europe with Jewish signs. Synagogues, Jewish schools and kindergartens require barbed-wire fences and security and Jewish men, women and children are beaten up in broad daylight,” he said in a message to MEPs from the three Benelux countries who attended a lunch meeting in Brussels on Tuesday organized on the eve of Belgium’s presidency of the European Union.
Representatives of the Jewish communities of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were also present.
Kantor added: “Most worryingly, Jews are being forced out of many European cities, like Malmo [in Sweden], because of the atmosphere of hostility and violence.”
“I would like European politicians to state loud and clear that there
is no justification or understanding whatsoever for the attacks on Jews
or Jewish institutions in Europe,” he said.
He rejected the “false claim” that these attacks are a natural reaction to events in the Middle East.
“This line of reasoning is illegitimate as well as dishonest. There are
tens of conflicts raging in the world, where hundreds of thousands of
people are losing their lives. Has anyone heard of a single other act
of violence in Europe that is justified because of a foreign conflict?”
Europe, he said, needs to strengthen its legislation to combat all forms of hate and incitement.
He also said that European politicians can play an “even greater role”
in pressuring Hamas to make a humanitarian gesture and release IDF
soldier Gilad Schalit.
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