Jewish congress condemns European Parliament

(JTA) – The European Jewish Congress condemned the European Parliament’s refusal to openly denounce a wave of anti-Semitic attacks in Europe.

The EJC, the representative body of European Jewry, strongly urged E.U. institutions — and in particular the E.U. Parliament — to pass a resolution that openly condemns anti-Semitism in Europe.

The total number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2009 in certain European countries already totals half of the number of incidents monitored during all of 2008, according to a statement released Wednesday. The incidents have been tied to Israel’s recent military operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. 

In a letter addressed to EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor, in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27, European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering stated that: “[the European Parliament is] called upon to speak out clearly and reject any instances of anti-Semitism and intolerance in our own countries and in our own time. These are phenomena which have no place in our modern European community of values.”

But European parliamentarians and parliamentary groups have been reluctant to heed Pöttering’s strong statements against anti-Semitism, the EJC statement said.

The European Parliament is currently meeting in Strasbourg, France. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the parliament Wednesday.

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