Part of the Speech delivered at the 543rd EESC Plenary Session by Luca Jahier, EESC President
At the beginning of my mandate as President, I visited the former concentration camp of Auschwitz- and the time I spent in this place of indescribable pain and sadness is something I shall never forget.
It is incomprehensible how humankind, how our diverse and rich European cultures could commit such an atrocity.
But, as Primo Levi said:
“We cannot understand Fascism, but we can and must understand from where it springs, and we must be on our guard…because what happened can happen again…For this reason, it is everyone’s duty to reflect on what happened.”
Recent events are showing us that we must not let down our guard and believe that the 60 years of peace in Europe are to be taken for granted. Our Fundamental Rights, which are enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union are not to be taken for granted.
It is inadmissible that last year saw the largest number of anti-semitic acts in decades, leading to an increasing sense of emergency among Jewish communities worldwide.
In Belgium, 39% of Belgian respondents said they had experienced anti-semitic harassment in the last year.
And it is already impacting our communities and the European diversity we are proud of: in Belgium, a study by the Fundamental Rights Agency has revealed that 42% of Belgian Jews had considered emigrating in the last five years.
Our streets and squares, villages and cities- all public spaces must be places of exchange and safety for everyone.
Beyond anti-Semitic acts, regrettably, we’re also observing a general rise in intolerance and hatred against other minorities. A study showed that while 10% of Europeans admitted they had unfavourable views of Jews, 16% said they had negative views of LGBTI people, 36% said they had unfavourable views of immigrants, 37% said that about Muslims, and 39% said it of Roma people.
And this intolerance is perpetuated and increased by social media bubbles, hyper-connectedness and a growing acceptance of hate speech on the internet, which translates back into our physical world.
What can we do to protect the diversity of our cultures and forms of religious expression, and open culture which lies at the core of our European identity?
What can we do to counter Antisemitism?
We must act.
Objective data is certainly an important basis, and the European institutions for example have released two important studies recently:
- A study named “Experiences and perceptions of antisemitism – Second survey on discrimination and hate crime against Jews in the EU” was released by the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency in December 2018;
- and the “Eurobarometer survey on Antisemitism” was released on 22 January 2019
- 2015 January 27 – 70 years ago Not an end yet to genocide
- Apocalyptic Extremism: No Longer a Laughing Matter
- Objective views and not closing eyes for certain sayings
- Hamas the modern Philistines
- The American clouds of Anti-Semitism
- Donald Trump after declining numbers of people victimised for their religion managed to increase the numbers again
- What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism
- Incidents of hate have become commonplace in the U.S.A. anno 2017
- Anti-Semitic pressure driving Jews out of Europe
- The danger of having less than 25 000 Jews in Belgium
- Historian Deborah Lipstadt Assesses the New Anti-Semitism
- Trusting present youngsters who are not necessary evil
- ….a powerful way to put the universe on notice….
Further related articles
- German Monarchy planned to imprison Jews into Concentration Camps, confiscate Jewish property in 1926 – years before Nazis
- Maus Tank: Hitler Wanted This Massive Tank (And It Was a Massive Mistake)
- Anti-Semitism on the rise in the Czech Republic
- Is Anti-Zionism the same as Anti-Semitism?
- Auschwitz’s lessons for Japan
- Baruch Marzel: Advocate of ethnic cleansing
- Kevin MacDonald: White Replacement Myth Served As Inspiration For Writing ‘Culture Of Critique’
- Two of Corbyn’s closest associates, including Seuma’s Milne, entered an anti-Semitism case
- Three union activists arrested by police for anti-Semitism
- Leaked emails `show Labour inaction over anti-Semitism complaints´
- Antisemitism in the world of work: the party plunges into chaos as the reputed lawyer leaves his role
- Weaponisation of Language To Deceive
- The Plot to Keep Jeremy Corbyn Out of Power
- Gordon Brown’s Selective Anti-racism
- Labour in fresh antisemitism row amid claims party ‘gags’ whistleblowers
- George Galloway powerfully explains the ‘weaponization’ of anti-Semiticism smears (Video)
- Just blew it? (Again!)
- The Times Cartoon Reveals the Link between Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism
- Israel’s Netanyahu slams global rise in anti-Semitism
- What’s behind France’s rising antisemitism?
- An American in Serbia – what living in Belgrade is like after 50 years
- The Daily 202 from PowerPost Border Patrol agents expose their deeply-rooted hate on Facebook
- Intolerance in The Bible: Who Determines What Is Right and What Is Wrong?
- Stumbling Blocks
- 2 men named Jesus?
- Words of Wisdom – “Change is the Way of Creating Hatred, through Dissatisfaction” – 6/29/2019