European Union countries agreed Thursday to intensify the fight against anti-Semitism and boost security for Jews throughout Europe.
The 28-nation bloc’s interior ministers adopted a declaration acknowledging hatred against Jews “remains widespread.”
“The declaration invites member states to adopt and implement a holistic strategy to prevent and fight all forms of anti-Semitism,” it said. “It calls on member states to increase their efforts to ensure security for Jewish communities, institutions and citizens.”
The ministers urged member states that have not done so to adopt a common definition of anti-Semitism to better identify and investigate attacks against Jews.
They asked the member states to offer financing and carry out security measures for Jewish communities, institutions, and citizens.
The American Jewish Committee praised today the #EU Declaration on Combating Anti-Semitism. @DSchwammenthal commended @sebastiankurz : “Chancellor Kurz has admirably made anti-Semitism an EU priority.“ #eu2018at
— Peter Launsky (@RegSprecher_AT) December 6, 2018
The declaration called on the member states to “take appropriate measures against hate crimes and incitement to violence or hatred against Jewish people.”
It asked them to join in existing E.U. and other multinational training programmes to boost their ability to record and collect hate crimes data.
It invited member states to stress the importance of Holocaust remembrance and education for all as well as research in this field.
The World Jewish Congress hailed the declaration as recognition by all E.U. member states that “serious action” is needed to tackle anti-Semitism.
Israel cheers as EU Council declares fight on anti-Semitism https://t.co/nmEUs6eBtM
— The Times of Israel (@TimesofIsrael) December 6, 2018
The E.U. Agency for Fundamental Rights said that few E.U. member states record anti-Semitic incidents in a way that allows them to collect “adequate official data.”
France, home to Europe’s largest Jewish community, said it saw the number of reported anti-Semitic attacks and threats rise 69 percent to 385 between January and September this year, after two years of declining violence.