Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Boim. 'Phenomenon spreading'
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Yishai. To initiate discussion
Photo: Vadim Daniel

Long trail of anti-Semitism in Europe, ministers say

Government concerned over planned UK academic boycott. 'Phenomenon may spread, as British architects are considering a similar move,' says Immigrant Absorption Minister Boim. Social Affairs Minister Herzog: International community should join Israel in its struggle against anti-Semitism

The British academic boycott is only the tip of the iceberg, ministers estimated Sunday morning during the weekly cabinet meeting, addressing the calls in the United Kingdom to boycott Israeli academics and institutions and Israeli commerce.


"There is a long trail of anti-Semitism in Europe, which includes one-sided articles and anti-Semitic harassment, topped by the torching of the synagogue in Switzerland. This is a great challenge for the Israeli government to deal with," Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog said.


According to Herzog, there is an active Muslim minority in Britain, as well as anti-Semitic attitudes which must be dealt with.


"Israel must fight this, and the entire international community should take part in the effort," he added.


Immigrant Absorption Minister Ze'ev Boim, who returned from London over the weekend, said that "the phenomenon demands concern, and although at the moment we are only talking about the United Kingdom's University and College Union, we must look at the broader picture because we are already hearing about additional organizations, such as the British architects' organization which is considering a similar move. This phenomenon may spread."


Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai said that "the anti-Semitic phenomenon is concerning and unfortunate. I plan to initiate a discussion between various ministries regarding the implications and our options in terms of industry and trade against this worrying phenomenon."


Meanwhile, Kadima ministers have decided to look into the possibility of incorporating American academics in the struggle against the UCU's boycott of Israel.


In a meeting the ministers held before the cabinet meeting, it was decided that Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni would lead the governmental activity against on the matter.


פרסום ראשון: 06.03.07, 11:39
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