EJC President Moshe Kantor is scheduled to meet this week with the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic to gain his backing for “emergency measures” designed to shield Europe’s Jewish communities from violent hate crimes. The proposed measures are speculated to include new legislation, intelligence-sharing and the implementation of a publicity campaign identifying anti-Jewish threats.
Kantor has especially voiced his worries over the Golden Dawn Party, which performed well in Greece’s government elections several weeks ago. The party’s head has stated that there is no truth to the historical belief that Nazi-directed concentration camps murdered their captives via gas chambers and ovens during the Holocaust.
While Golden Dawn insists it is not neo-Nazi, its election campaign was centered on an anti-immigration platform, that has aroused serious concerns among Greece’s minority communities. “The rise of Golden Dawn should have sent shock-waves through Europe,” Kantor stated. “Before calling on European leaders to act against hate on the street, they must clear their own house and that means banning and ostracizing any politicians and political parties that preach hate and violence.” Kantor went on to decry the “visceral hatred” disseminated by the Golden Dawn party, saying that such speech “is surely outside the boundaries of appropriate political discourse.”
Kantor was confident he would receive a positive response from the Czech Prime Minister, as the Czech Republic is one of Israel’s strongest allies in the European Union. The Czechs have previously advocated for a stronger relationship between the European Union and Israel.
“The current economic crisis in Europe creates ripe conditions for anti-Semitism,” Kantor declared, “and radical Muslim communities across the continent are ready to attack Jews, because of the tension between Israel and the Palestinians and other Middle East countries.”
According to a recent report on anti-Semitism, there were fewer attacks targeting European Jews in 2011 than in the preceding years, but they tended to be more violent. “It is a very dangerous trend,” Kantor said.