The European Commission has expressed its concern at the dramatic increase in anti-Semitic incidents being reported throughout the bloc amid escalating tensions in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine.
“In the last few days, anti-Semitic incidents across Europe have reached an extraordinary level, reminiscent of the darkest periods in history. European Jews are once again living in fear,” European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas said in a statement.
“We have seen a resurgence of anti-Semitic incidents and rhetoric in the European Union and worldwide: Molotov cocktails thrown on a synagogue in Germany, Stars of David sprayed on residential buildings in France, a Jewish cemetery desecrated in Austria, Jewish stores and synagogues attacked in Spain, demonstrators chanting hate slogans against Jews,” he added.
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The Eurocrat reaffirmed Brussels’ solidarity with Jewish communities and condemned “in the strongest possible terms these despicable acts,” which he claimed “go against everything Europe stands for.”
“Jew, Muslim, or Christian — no one should live in fear of discrimination or violence because of their religion or identity,” he added.
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Brussels indicated it had effective tools in place to curb a rise in both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia across the bloc, highlighting legislation that criminalized public incitement to hatred and violence and set out a common approach to tackling racist and xenophobia hate speech including online.
In 2021, the European Union put in place its first comprehensive strategy to combat anti-Semitism and support Jewish life, and the EU Anti-racism Action Plan has been in place since 2020.