A leading pro-European group has claimed the rise in anti-Semitism is linked to anti-EU feeling. ‘British Influence’ published the article by their Director of External Affairs, Rachel Franklin, today to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auchwitz.
Franklin said: “It is no coincidence that rising anti-Semitism and warnings of a ‘Jewish exodus’ from Europe come at a time when hostility towards the European Union is gaining momentum in the public discourse.”
She continued: “Seventy years on we should continue to hold those values dear and lead in Europe again today. Against the backdrop of rising anti-Semitism in Hungary, France and here in the UK (as demonstrated by the European Jewish Congress poll just last week) this is once again a battle that goes beyond Britain’s borders. A battle that we cannot win by retreating from the EU and having a conversation with ourselves.”
But her comments have caused outrage from the Editor of the Jewish Chronicle, Stephen Pollard. He said: “I’m not often shocked. But this post by @britinfluence links euroscepticism and antisemitism. Jaw dropping.”
— Stephen Pollard (@stephenpollard) January 27, 2015
British Influence describes itself as a “campaign to keep Britain in a reformed EU.” They claim to be a “cross-party organisation who believe that Britain is better off in a better Europe.” Its website says it believes British membership of the EU makes the UK “a stronger, more secure, more influential and richer country.”
Franklin’s article finished with her repeating the claim the EU is vital to building a tolerant society. She said: “The EU is not just about fostering economic prosperity; it is there to prevent us re-living the mistakes of our past. It is about crafting a positive vision that appreciates and embraces a strong, diverse and outward-looking Britain for tomorrow.”
For decades the European Union has claimed to be the reason for peace on the continent, a claim rejected by Eurosceptics. Brussels has also begun referring to World War’s One and Two as the First and Second European Civil Wars. This is despite them not falling into the definition of civil wars because they were not internal battles within one country.
Franklin herself is the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor who fled Germany seventy-nine years ago.