ADL Welcomes EU Legislation Criminalizing Incitement To Racism
New York, NY, April 19, 2007 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed legislation approved by European Union Justice Ministers to criminalize the denial of genocide and incitement to racism and xenophobia across the 27-member states of the EU. The so-called "Framework Agreement" was passed at a meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg and specifies up to three years in prison for "public incitement to violence or hatred directed against people defined by reference to race, color, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin."
Glen Lewy, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
This framework is an important declaration by the EU that racism, xenophobia and the denial of genocide will not be tolerated by European society, particularly at a time when the denial or trivializing of the Holocaust is growing more mainstream and when violent anti-Semitic incidents have become increasingly common.
We do, however, regret the absence of any direct reference in the legislation to anti-Semitism, that age-old hatred that has been all-too familiar on the European continent.
We share the view of German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries who stated at the Luxembourg press conference that "criminal measures can only be supplementary, and they can never be sufficient in combating racism and xenophobia itself," and hope that the leadership of the EU and its member states will use all mechanisms at their disposal to reject and condemn acts of anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.