TEL AVIV – The European Union’s commissioner for human rights called on the organization to stop ignoring the rise in anti-Semitism on the continent and to use the Holocaust as a reminder of the dangers posed by complacency.
“Europeans ignore the evidence of rising anti-semitic hate speech, violence and Holocaust denial at their peril. The hate that begins with Jews never ends with Jews. Antisemitism is a threat to our European continent built on freedom and the rule of law,” Nils Muižnieks said in statement posted on the Council of Europe’s website Tuesday and cited by the Jerusalem Post.
He added, “Teaching remembrance of the Holocaust is a crucial safeguard against history and serious human rights violations repeating themselves.”
“Contemporary manifestations of anti-Semitism do not just include violent crime and hate speech. Contemporary anti-Semitism also revolves around the Holocaust, with some blaming the Holocaust on Jews or suggesting that Jews focus on this tragedy to gain advantage,” said Muižnieks.
However, according to Dr. Richard Landes, the Jerusalem-based chair of the Council of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Muižnieks did not go far enough by failing to mention that Europe’s Muslim population are to blame for the most grievous acts of anti-Semitism.
“The statement does not even address the fact that all the deadly cases of anti-Semitism in Europe today come from Muslims – a sign of timidity which does not bode well for opposing the phenomenon,” Landes told the Jerusalem Post.
“Indeed, one might argue that real, exterminationist anti-Semitism like that of the Nazis is primarily found in the European Muslim community (and among Muslims around the world), while milder forms of Jew-hatred revive at an alarming rate among others (including ‘progressive’ Jews).”
“In Europe, it’s as if the elites quaff the wine and beer of their distaste for Jews (especially for free Jews like Israelis), while holding an open bar for the Muslims to drink all the hard alcohol of real Jew-hatred they want. It’s hard to imagine a more self-destructive indulgence in an ancient and poisonous addiction,” he added.
Meanwhile, in the city of Oldenburg, the local teachers’ union (GEW) is being lambasted by German Jews over a call to completely boycott the Jewish state in the first such incident since the Holocaust.
The GEW’s purported trivialization of the Holocaust and support for the BDS movement is being led by union member Christoph Glanz, who is accused of promoting Jew- and Israel-hatred. At a school event marking the Holocaust in 2013, Glanz reportedly addressed the pupils by saying that Israel was guilty of genocide against the Palestinians.
“The fact that Mr. Glanz is openly indoctrinating children and teaching hatred against Israel is totally unbearable,” Daniel Killy, the spokesman for the city of Hamburg’s 2,500-member Jewish community, told the Post, adding that Glanz should be removed from his teaching position.
“If a German union backs an anti-Semitic hate preacher like Glanz they are disqualifying themselves as a voice in the public dialogue,” Killy said.