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EU Commission: anti-Semitism on the rise. Timmermans, if Jewish community “does not feel safe, Europe ceases to be Europe”

Frans Timmermans

(Brussels) According to the latest survey by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency on anti-Semitism, 85% of European Jews consider anti-Semitism to be the biggest social or political problem in their home country. 89% think anti-Semitism is most problematic on the Internet and on social media; 28% have been harassed at least once in the past year, but 79% of those who experienced anti-Semitic harassment in the past five years did not report this to the police; 34% avoid visiting Jewish events or sites because they do not feel safe; 38% have considered emigrating from Europe because they did not feel safe; and 70% consider that efforts by Member States to combat anti-Semitism are not effective. “It is essential that we combat this scourge forcefully and collectively”, said the vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, commenting on the figures, released today: “The Jewish community must feel safe and at home in Europe. If we cannot achieve this, Europe ceases to be Europe”. “The Commission is acting together with Member States to counter the rise of anti-Semitism, to fight holocaust denial and to guarantee that Jews have the full support of the authorities”, Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, explained. Measures to address the issue include the appointment in 2015 of a “Coordinator” in this area; the Code of Conduct on illegal online hate speech; and the “High Level Group on combating Racism, Xenophobia and other forms of Intolerance” launched in 2016.

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