Knesset speaker slams Europe’s ‘contradictory messages’ on anti-Semitism

Yuli Edelstein called on Europe to take decisive action against anti-Semitism, in all of its forms. 

By: World Israel News Staff

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein slammed the Europeans’ duplicity, claiming to fight anti-Semitism while assailing Israel and embracing its enemies.

During a special ceremony held at the European Parliament in Brussels to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Wednesday, Edelstein listed anti-Semitic incidents that took place in Europe during the last year, including Jews in Bochum, Germany hiding their identities for fear of attack, a synagogue firebombing in Gothenburg, Sweden, and calls of “death to the Jews” in Vienna, London, and Berlin rallies.

”What have we learned?” Edelstein asked.

Since the Holocaust, much has been done across Europe to acknowledge “the painful truth” of the Holocaust, Edelstein noted. “Politicians, media outlets, academics, and engaged citizens have stood up to combat anti-Semitic rhetoric and acts,” he said.

“Yet, for all the work that has been done, I fear that the post-war sense of mission has faded, leaving the real issues unaddressed,” he underscored.

“What has been learned from all the [Holocaust] memorials if synagogues across Europe need round-the-clock protection? Is Holocaust education effective if Jews on this continent don’t wear a kippah or a Star of David necklace for fear of attack?” he stated.

He called on Europe to take proper action, beyond the “words, resolutions and good intentions.”

“The efforts to combat anti-Semitism and to protect the Jews of Europe are sincerely appreciated, but what is the message when elected officials march with the Jewish community one day and against Israel the next?” he wondered. “When leaders embrace the local rabbi in solidarity after a hate crime and treat Hamas as a legitimate voice? When an attack is condemned as anti-Semitic and then Israel is denounced for fabricated war crimes?”

“These contradictory messages do not build trust. Instead, they prevent us from meeting our joint obligations,” he stated.

All anti-Semitism is wrong

In a similar vein, he criticized a European delegation that recently visited Iran.

“No one mentioned Holocaust denial that has become a regular occurrence for the Iranian regime. I am sure no one protested the cartoon contest that ridiculed the Holocaust using the oldest and worst anti-Semitic stereotypes,” he said, holding the cartoon that won first prize, which suggests that the Jewish people exploit the Holocaust for financial gain at the world’s expense.

“For ‘Never Again’ to really mean ‘never again,’ consistent and sincere actions are necessary,” Edelstein said. “Antisemitism – wherever it rears its ugly head, for whatever reason, is wrong and must be fought at every turn. Writing off such acts as ‘mere opposition to Israel’ is absurd.”

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“Antisemitism has no excuse – not religion, not poverty, not lack of education, and not political disagreements,” he cautioned, while warning that “today we know that we ignore hatred and intolerance at our peril.”

He also called on European countries to follow the US in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, “acknowledging both our ancient heritage and our modern history.”

“This parliament is an inspiration to Europe and the world. Use your standing to realize the values on which this institution was founded,” he concluded.