Antonio Tajani: Anti-Semitism still alive in EU

Former European Commissioner Antonio Tajani says Europe is "deluding" itself if it thinks it is "immune" to the "faces of anti-Semitism."

Antonio Tajani | Photo credit: European Commisson audiovisual

By Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at the Parliament Magazine

23 Sep 2016


He was speaking ahead of a showpiece debate in Parliament next week on the current situation in Europe of anti-Semitism.

A reported rise in anti-Semitism facing Europe’s Jewish communities will be debated at a conference hosted by both Tajani and European Parliament President Martin Schulz on Tuesday.

Tajani, an Italian EPP group deputy, who is responsible for inter-religious dialogue for the Parliament, will open the conference, which will be closed by Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans.


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Tajani, a Parliament Vice-President, said: "The faces of anti-Semitism are many, but the virus is one. Deluding ourselves that Europe is immune is the biggest mistake. 

"There is no incentive to keep our guard up if we fail to see that anti-Semitism is still alive among us too, even where persecution and discrimination have eliminated any Jewish presence. 

"The greatest danger for Europe is to be impoverished in its history and culture by a slow and steady exodus of European Jews. It is against this risk that we must be united and determined."

Other speakers include former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth Lord Jonathan Sacks, who will deliver a keynote speech on 'The mutating virus: understanding anti-Semitism'.

European Rabbis Conference President Pinchas Goldschmidt, Brussels Chief Rabbi Albert Guigui and French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy will also speak.

It is the second event of its kind in Parliament this year. The first was held in April and concerned European Muslims facing radicalisation.

 

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