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Parliament Head: Joint Effort Needed to Fight Anti-semitism

The European Parliament president, Klaus Hansch, called for a common struggle against anti-Semitism when he spoke before members of a special council devoted to the issue.

“No member state of the union can keep right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism under control single-handedly,” Hansch said last week in the eastern French city of Strasbourg at the opening conference of a section of the Parliament that combats anti-Semitism.

He added that a directive, based on the most stringent legislation in force in the member states, was needed.

The president also said in his opening remarks, “We must indeed prevent another Auschwitz. But at the same time, we cannot tolerate isolated acts which may appear harmless.

“They are an expression of the same old anti-Semitism. I have in mind the desecration of Jewish cemeteries, neo-Nazi graffiti, swastikas, the defamation and abuse of victims, and the secret practices of brownshirted violence in certain circles.”

The Parliament’s president continued, “The old messages have found new prophets. We must beware of those who would rewrite history, who seek to minimize what happened and to trivialize evil. We must not blur the line between democracy and totalitarianism.”

The council that fights anti-Semitism has devoted itself to consolidating democracy, he said.

“The most important action we can take in our society is that directed at ourselves. We must resist the re-emergence of the past,” Hansch also said.

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