ADL Calls On European Leaders To Condemn Explosion Of Anti-Semitic Rhetoric
New York, NY, January 22, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on leaders of several European countries to publicly condemn "the explosion of anti-Semitic rhetoric" and posters and banners with Nazi imagery and Holocaust comparisons seen and heard at anti-Israel demonstrations since the outbreak of hostilities in Gaza.
ADL wrote to the heads of government of eight countries – Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland – where anti-Semitic displays have been present and condemnations from the highest level of government have been absent.
"Blatantly anti-Semitic displays have contributed to an unacceptable wave of anti-Semitic threats of violence, intimidation and attacks against Jewish communal institutions and individuals in many countries," wrote Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "While it is important to take immediate steps to increase security measures for the Jewish community for the protection of property and the personal safety of individuals, there is also an urgent need for your government to publicly and forcefully speak out against such anti-Semitic attacks to make it clear that anti-Semitism, hatred and bigotry of any kind has no place in your country."
The League reminded the leaders of the obligations to combat anti-Semitism their countries undertook in the 2004 Berlin Declaration of the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE). That document also declared "unambiguously that international developments or political issues, including those in Israel or elsewhere in the Middle East, never justify anti-Semitism."
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.