European lawmakers urge EU to reinstate anti-Semitism definition

KRAKOW, Poland (JTA) — Twenty-four European parliamentarians called on the European Union to reinstate its working definition of anti-Semitism.

The call was adopted unanimously on Tuesday by the lawmakers, who had traveled to Poland earlier this week to attend a ceremonial joint session with 58 Knesset members and dozens of counterparts from the Polish parliament on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The lawmakers said they will seek to have the EU Fundamental Rights Agency “unequivocally stand behind its own working definition of anti-Semitism” during a meeting with members of the European Forum of the Knesset, a caucus of Knesset members.

In 2005, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia adopted a working definition of anti-Semitism that included the demonization of the State of Israel and its comparison to Nazi Germany. But the Fundamental Rights Agency, the body that replaced the center, recently removed the definition from its website, saying it was unable to establish a definition.

“There has never been a more pressing time for European parliamentarians and elected officials to show a clear sign of their determination and willingness to fight anti-Semitism,” said Vladimir Sloutsker, chair of the Brussels-based European Friends of Israel organization, which brought the European parliamentarians to Poland along with the Israeli-Jewish Congress.

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