The European Jewish diaspora is unenthusiastic about European Union (EU) member states’ efforts to fight antisemitism, according to a report presented on Tuesday by the World Jewish Congress (WJC) during a trip to Madrid, Spain.
The report included summary findings of a survey in which European Jews’ were asked to share their feelings about the progress their governments have made in implementing the EU Strategy to Combat Antisemitism for 2023-2030, a nine year initiative aimed at countering antisemitism across the continent.
A copy of the text shared with The Algemeiner says that only 35 percent of Jewish community members surveyed by WJC believe legislative measures — adopted in countries such as France, Germany, and Greece — targeting antisemitic hate speech and crimes are “adequate.” Forty-one percent said they are not while 24 percent said they are “partly adequate.”
Additionally, only 22 percent of respondents to WJC’s survey said that the pledges EU member states made are “relevant” to the needs of Jewish communities in their countries. Thirty percent said they aren’t, describing them as having “narrow scope” or lacking “concrete” plans of action. Just sixteen percent believe their governments have implemented any of the pledges put forth in the EU strategy.
“We have seen too many times throughout history that people will come together, say all the right things, make the right commitments, but fall short on the follow-through,” WJC president Ronald Lauder said on Tuesday. “The truly hard work is the actual implementation of good ideas.”
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) on Tuesday also met with King Felipe VI of Spain for a private meeting. The group said in a press release that its leaders “expressed gratitude” to His Majesty for the Spanish Government’s efforts to fight antisemitism.
In February, Spain’s Council of Ministers approved a measure adopting the EU Strategy to Combat Antisemitism for 2023-2030, which Minister of the Presidency and Democratic Memory Fèlix Bolaños called a “forceful respond to what we are trying to stop.” Spain’s plan, the European Jewish Congress reported at the time, contains three main objectives, including preventing the proliferation of antisemitism online, protecting the quality of life of Jewish communities, and promoting education about the Holocaust.
“This plan…provides resources and measures to fight antisemitism and will favor the future of the Jewish community in Spain, so that it can develop its life within its beliefs and traditions,” Bolaños added.
WJC’s visit to Spain was coordinated in part by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, a nonprofit Jewish advocacy group. WJC’s other activities included a luncheon with Spain’s Foreign Ministry and a working session, moderated by EU Commission Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life Katharina von Schnurbein, with its Special Envoys and Coordinators Combating Antisemitism (SECCA), a cohort of WJC leaders who represent the organization internationally in over forty countries.
Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.
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Author: Dion J. Pierre
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