Kantor: Europe trivializing Holocaust

EJC president tells 'Post' Europeans misreading dangers of anti-Semitism, threat posed by Iran.

EJC president 224.88 (photo credit: Russian Jewish Congress)
EJC president 224.88
(photo credit: Russian Jewish Congress)
President of the European Jewish Congress Moshe Kantor said Monday that a dangerous "banalization and trivialization" of the Holocaust in Europe is causing Europeans to misread the dangers of anti-Semitism today as well as misunderstand and overlook the looming threat to the world posed by Iran's nuclear programs. "Anti-Semitism, xenophobia and racism are completely [discounted] in Europe," Kantor said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post during a commemoration for International Holocaust Remembrance Day held at the European Parliament in Brussels. In the interview, Kantor said that the "banalization" of the Holocaust has also led Europeans to misread Iran's nuclear threat. "The average European speaks [about the Iranian nuclear program] like we are speaking about a soccer match," he said. "Nobody is paying attention in Europe." "The European Parliament must be at the forefront of the battle against racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism," said the President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pottering. He added that the European Parliament had unequivocally condemned the recent remarks of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Israel should be "wiped off the map." "As Europeans, we have an obligation never again to let down the Jewish people when they are under threat," he added. In his address to the Parliament, Kantor noted that there were more neo-Nazis than Jews living in Europe today. "Many seem to forget that the European Union was born out of the ashes of Auschwitz." Kantor said that Europe's waning interest in the Holocaust was a "normal thing" for a society that was "tired of history" and which only wanted to see "positive things." "The Holocaust is not only a tragedy of the Jewish people. It is a tragedy of Europe and a tragedy of the world," he said. Kantor also said that fighting assimilation by European Jewry was a key issue for the umbrella European Jewish organization which he heads. "If we don't do anything about this, sooner or later we will come to a final solution without any [additional] Holocaust," he concluded.