Jewish Parliament concerned over anti-Semitism

European Jewish Parliament expressed call on continent’s leaders to fight anti-Semitism.

By NISSAN TZUR JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
January 31, 2013 04:51
2 minute read.
Anti-Semitism

Anti Semitism 390. (photo credit: Reuters)

KRAKOW – The European Jewish Parliament expressed concern at growing anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe at its General Assembly in Krakow, Poland, this week.

Five Polish MPs, members of the European Parliament, professors from the city’s Jagiellonian University and representatives of Poland’s Jewish community took part in the assembly held on Monday and Tuesday in Krakow’s city hall.

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The assembly called on EU leaders to take strong measures to ensure the security and safety of Jews living in Europe in view of the increase in anti- Semitism and the rise of far-right parties such as Jobbik in Hungary and Svoboda in Ukraine.

Klaudia Klimek, a Polish member of the European Jewish Parliament from Krakow, told The Jerusalem Post that the decision to choose Krakow as the host city for the Assembly was a symbolic step.

“The Jewish Parliament has existed for one year and we had three meetings in Brussels last year. This year we decided to hold our meeting in Poland to coincide with the International Holocaust Day which took place at the end of January.

We chose Krakow because it’s a symbolic city. Before WWII there were many Jews living here, the second-largest Jewish community in Poland,” she said.

“We have several committees within the Jewish Parliament and we discussed ideas for future projects that we are planning to run in the next years. For example, we have a media committee, and we would like to give a bigger voice to the Jewish Parliament and to European Jewish journalism to let everyone know from first-hand what is happening in the European Jewish Parliament and the local Jewish communities in Europe,” Klimek said.

“We also discussed the rise of anti-Semitism and rightwing parties in Europe. We had a Hungarian representative who gave a speech on the anti-Semitism in Hungary.

That’s one of the reasons we decided to hold our meeting next year in Budapest and cooperate with the Hungarian government.

“We also received an invitation from the Polish Parliament members to visit the Sejm [the Polish Parliament] next year and commemorate 69 years since the liberation of Auschwitz,” Klimek told the Post.

The Brussels-based European Jewish Parliament was founded in 2011 by the European Jewish Union and inaugurated in February 2012. Its 120 members represent 47 countries.

On Tuesday, the members of the General Assembly visited Auschwitz-Birkenau. For some of the European Jewish Parliament members it was the first visit to the former Nazi death camp. A few rabbis, members of the Jewish Parliament, held a brief ceremony and prayed in the memory of the victims.

Joel Rubinfeld, co-chairman of the European Jewish Parliament, told The European Jewish Press that the Jewish Parliament members consider fighting anti-Semitism the most important current issue and that he has recently seen an increase in the number of anti- Semitic incidents, including in Western European countries such as France and Britain.

“The best way to avoid tragedies repeating themselves is to learn from the mistakes of the past. We will devote time and energy needed to try to reverse this extremely dangerous situation,” Rubinfeld said.


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