Israel and the European Union will hold a joint Holocaust conference at the beginning of 2008, according to an agreement reached Thursday between Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog and EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini.
Herzog is currently in Brussels, where he is meeting with members of the European Parliament and senior EU officials. Frattini, who is also in charge of the fight against anti-Semitism in Europe, informed Herzog of a recent rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Europe, some due to Islamic extremism.
According to Frattini, the EU has waged a major campaign against the Holocaust denial phenomenon as part of the ongoing confrontation with Iran.
Frattini said he was advancing legislation against Holocaust deniers, according to which denying the Holocaust would be a criminal act.
Herzog suggested holding the conference in cooperation with the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum to discuss recent findings on the World War Two genocide. The conference is also aimed at finding ways to educate European youth on the subject.
The Israeli minister also presented Frattini with data regarding the activity of Islamic extremists with Iranian backing, which, according to him, includes anti-Israel rhetoric and incitement against Jews.
"Anti-Semitism and Islamic extremism in Europe are a cause for concern," Herzog told Ynet. "Europe must defend itself from radical Islamic elements that are operating unabated."