Luca Jahier, EESC President on the present intolerance

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.

Anti-Semitic incidents rose by 70 % last year in France, for example, and 60% in Germany.

In Belgium, 39% of Belgian respondents said they had experienced anti-semitic harassment in the last year.

This insecurity and fear impacts everyday life: almost a third of European Jews avoid attending events or visiting Jewish sites because they do not feel safe.

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




2014 European elections

World remembers Auschwitz survivors

At the closing hours of 2016 #2 Low but also highlights

2015-2016 Religion

The fight against anti-Semitism is also a fight for a democratic, value-based Europe


Additional reading

  1. 2015 January 27 – 70 years ago Not an end yet to genocide
  2. Apocalyptic Extremism: No Longer a Laughing Matter
  3. Objective views and not closing eyes for certain sayings
  4. Hamas the modern Philistines
  5. The American clouds of Anti-Semitism
  6. Donald Trump after declining numbers of people victimised for their religion managed to increase the numbers again
  7. What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism
  8. Incidents of hate have become commonplace in the U.S.A. anno 2017
  9. Anti-Semitic pressure driving Jews out of Europe
  10. The danger of having less than 25 000 Jews in Belgium
  11. Historian Deborah Lipstadt Assesses the New Anti-Semitism
  12. Trusting present youngsters who are not necessary evil
  13. ….a powerful way to put the universe on notice….


Further related articles

  1. German Monarchy planned to imprison Jews into Concentration Camps, confiscate Jewish property in 1926 – years before Nazis
  2. Maus Tank: Hitler Wanted This Massive Tank (And It Was a Massive Mistake)
  3. Anti-Semitism on the rise in the Czech Republic
  4. Is Anti-Zionism the same as Anti-Semitism?
  5. Auschwitz’s lessons for Japan
  6. Baruch Marzel: Advocate of ethnic cleansing
  7. Kevin MacDonald: White Replacement Myth Served As Inspiration For Writing ‘Culture Of Critique’
  8. Two of Corbyn’s closest associates, including Seuma’s Milne, entered an anti-Semitism case
  9. Three union activists arrested by police for anti-Semitism
  10. Leaked emails `show Labour inaction over anti-Semitism complaints´
  11. Antisemitism in the world of work: the party plunges into chaos as the reputed lawyer leaves his role
  12. Weaponisation of Language To Deceive
  13. The Plot to Keep Jeremy Corbyn Out of Power
  14. Gordon Brown’s Selective Anti-racism
  15. Labour in fresh antisemitism row amid claims party ‘gags’ whistleblowers
  16. George Galloway powerfully explains the ‘weaponization’ of anti-Semiticism smears (Video)
  17. Just blew it? (Again!)
  18. The Times Cartoon Reveals the Link between Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism
  19. Israel’s Netanyahu slams global rise in anti-Semitism
  20. What’s behind France’s rising antisemitism?
  21. An American in Serbia – what living in Belgrade is like after 50 years
  22. Independence Day
  23. The Daily 202 from PowerPost Border Patrol agents expose their deeply-rooted hate on Facebook
  24. Intolerance in The Bible: Who Determines What Is Right and What Is Wrong?
  25. Stumbling Blocks
  26. 2 men named Jesus?
  27. Words of Wisdom – “Change is the Way of Creating Hatred, through Dissatisfaction” – 6/29/2019

About Guestspeaker

A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world. We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".
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