New York, NY, November 3, 2003 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today praised Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, for his strong statement of concern following the release of a survey of Europeans that singled out Israel as the greatest threat to world peace.
Following a meeting with President Prodi at the European Commission Consulate in New York, Glen A. Tobias, ADL National Chairman and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, welcomed the statement and urged the European Commission to consider holding a seminar to further probe the roots of attitudes about Israel and Jews across Europe.
“There is a distorted view of Israel in Europe today, and we need to answer the question, ‘Where does it come from?,’” said Mr. Foxman, author of the new book, Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism (HarperSanFrancisco, 2003). “We are concerned that such distorted attitudes toward Israel could, and do, have an impact on the Jewish communities living in Europe.
“We welcome President Prodi’s statement and we are encouraged by his willingness to take this issue seriously, as reflected not only by his words, but by his readiness to consider and support a seminar to address the fundamentals of the issues that underlie these disturbing attitudes,” said Mr. Foxman.
In a statement issued today, President Prodi said, “I am very concerned at the results of this survey. They point to the continued existence of a bias that must be condemned out of hand. To the extent that this may indicate a deeper, more general prejudice against the Jewish world, our repugnance is even more radical. In the Europe born in reaction to the horrors of war and the Shoah, there is no place for anti-Semitism and it cannot be tolerated.”
Also present at the meeting were Israel Singer, Chairman of the World Jewish Congress, Jack Rosen, President of the American Jewish Congress, and Seymour Reich, former Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.