Israel, U.S. Urge E.U. to Address Rising Antisemitism, Stop Funding Anti-Israel Hate Groups

Members of Palestinian comunity in Romania take part in an anti-war and anti-Israel protes

Rising attacks on Jews across Europe as well as increased support for anti-Israel hate groups must be addressed by the European Union (E.U.), Israeli and U.S. officials warned Wednesday.

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s minister of strategic affairs, said before meeting a group of European lawmakers the E.U. should make sure its money does not go to groups that support the Palestinian-led, anti-Israel boycott movement.

In Brussels, Erdan also released a report cataloguing examples of Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) branches or activists using antisemitic content in their campaigns of harassment.

Israel says the BDS movement masks a deeper aim of delegitimizing or even destroying the country.

“We have proven beyond a doubt that BDS is an anti-Semitic campaign led by supporters of terror with one purpose: the elimination of the Jewish state,” Erdan said.

Erdan spoke alongside U.S. Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism Elan Carr at a news conference to launch the report, titled “Behind The Mask: The Anti-Semitic Nature of BDS Exposed,” that urges world leaders to stop funding groups linked to the movement.

“I am here to express the United States’ position that this is anti-Semitism, and we stand unequivocally with the State of Israel in combatting this scourge,” Carr said.

Israel called on the E.U. last year to stop funding more than a dozen European and Palestinian non-governmental organizations, alleging some of the NGOs had links to militant groups.

According to numbers compiled by Tel Aviv University, antisemitic attacks worldwide rose 13 percent from 2017 to in 2018. The United States, France, Britain and Germany had the most attacks.

In a survey last year for the E.U.’s Fundamental Rights Agency, nearly 85 percent of the Jewish respondents said they considered hate crimes to be a serious problem.

Carr said antisemitism has become a major enough issue in Europe that many Jews are thinking about emigrating.

“These numbers should be disturbing to absolutely everybody,” Carr said. “Not just to Jews. This isn’t Right or Left, it’s not Jews or non-Jews. Nobody, no normal person should think this is acceptable.”

As Breitbart news reported, France alone saw a 73 percent rise in the number of antisemitic incidents in 2018, according to figures released by the Interior Ministry, with some blaming social media for the increase.

The figures revealed there had been 541 incidents across the country last year, euronews reports.

While some have blamed the continued rise of antisemitism in France on the growing Muslim population, especially in areas such as the Paris suburbs that have seen many Jews flee to other areas, French mainstream media has claimed that social media networks are partially to blame.

Over the same period Attacks against Jews rose almost 10 percent in Germany, with violent acts soaring by more than 60 percent alone, latest crime statistics reveal.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned last April that Muslim immigrants have added a new strain of antisemitism to German culture by holding Jews solely responsible for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

AP contributed to this report

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