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Janner Warns of Serious Dangers Threatening the Jews of Europe

August 29, 1984
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Greville Janner, the head of the British Jewish community, warned of serious dangers threatening the position of Jews in Europe from the extreme right and extreme left.

“He pointed especially to the recent elections for the European Parliament in which “eleven to twelve percent of the French electorate voted fascist.” Janner was referring to the elections last June in which the National Front, led by Jean-Marie Le Pen, won II percent of the vote. Janner, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and a member of the British Parliament, spoke of the dangers facing European Jews at a meeting yesterday of the leadership of 30 American national Jewish organizations at an executive session of the American Section of the World Jewish Congress.

Pointing out that “Americans have heard almost nothing” about the electoral inroads made by fascist parties in Europe, Janner observed that, on the other hand, “When Israel voted one-and-a-half percent fascist (referring to Meir Kahane’s election) every newspaper in the world was filled with it.” European Jewry was opposed to racists of any sort, he said.


Elaborating on the potential dangers to Jews in Europe, Janner pointed to the sharp economic downturn of the continent which is pushing many of the disadvantaged into extremist camps of the right and left. “The Jews have always had their golden age in times of prosperity, and to me the long-term indications are bad,” Janner said.

The threat from terrorism, he said was rising and spreading throughout the world. “The PLO is an international terrorist emanation spreading throughout the globe, and it doesn’t help the Jews to live in terrorist times,” he added.

Finally, he suggested that in Europe, as in much of the rest of the world, there is diminishing sympathy for the Jewish condition, and this was also a reason for his pessimistic outlook. “The image of the Holocaust is receding, so that people no longer have a guilt complex about the Jews,” Janner said.

Janner was recently elected chairman of the World Jewish Congress-European Branch and was in New York to brief American Jewish leaders on the state of European Jewry. He also reported on his recent meetings with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India and Prime Minister Robert Mugabi of Zimbabwe.

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