Joint press statement: International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Combating Antisemitism should be everybody’s concern

Brussels, 27 January 2016 – Today, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, anti-racism organisations [1] call on both European political leaders and civil society to address the prevalence of Antisemitism in Europe. Showing a united front against all forms of racism in European society is essential in the current context.

Events such as the deadly attacks against Jews in Paris and Copenhagen in 2015 have highlighted the urgency of tackling Antisemitism in Europe, as well as the need for constructive dialogue between communities. But violence and discrimination targeting Jews happens on a near-daily basis.

Research by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) shows worrying trends when it comes to experiences of discrimination of Jews in the EU and fear of verbal or physical attacks, in particular in France, Belgium and Hungary. In 2015, antisemitic assaults remained at an already "high level" in France, with 806 recorded. In the United Kingdom, the number of reported antisemitic incidents increased by more than 50% compared to the previous year. Following a recent antisemitic attack in Marseille, France, Jewish organisations have been put in the terrible situation of debating whether their community members should stop wearing visible faith symbols in order to be safer. This is unacceptable.

Antisemitism often goes hand in hand with other forms of racism, including Islamophobia, anti-Gypsyism, Afrophobia and xenophobia. Common strategies for action to counter these forces and prevent old demons from rearing their heads again are therefore needed.

In a context of growing mistrust, it is crucial to bring communities together into a partnership against hatred and build solidarity. Europe needs more non-Jews to stand up against Antisemitism, reduce bullying in schools and debunk myths about Jews.

EU Member States and the European Commission must also take concrete steps to prevent acts of hatred without stigmatising any community. Some key actions were identified at the EU Fundamental Rights Colloquium in October 2015, including strictly applying hate crime and anti-discrimination laws; combating hate speech and promoting counter-narratives; and empowering those active at local level to build a culture of respect, in particular through education. They now need to be implemented urgently.

For further information, contact:
Georgina Siklossy, ENAR Communication and Press Officer
Tel: +32 (0)2 229 35 70 - Mobile: +32 (0)473 490 531 - E-mail: - Web:

[1European Network Against Racism (ENAR), Austrian Muslim Initiative, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC UK), Collectif Contre l’Islamophobie en Belgique (CCIB), Centrum mot rasism, Conseil Représentatif des Associations Noires (CRAN), Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, EMISCO, European Roma Information Office (ERIO), Federation of European Muslim Youth and Student Organisations (FEMYSO), Open Republic Association against Anti-Semitism and Xenophobia - Otwarta Rzeczpospolita, Pan African Movement for Justice, Subjective Values Foundation.

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