BERLIN – The European Union has found an efficient way of fighting anti-Semitism: Concealing it by completely ignoring its existence, especially in Europe.
In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day which took place last week, Catherine Ashton, the high representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the EU, issued a short statement which included only two paragraphs and 120 words in English.
One could find there wordings like: "We honor every one of those brutally murdered in the darkest period of European history," "We also want to pay a special tribute to all those who acted with courage and sacrifice to protect their fellow citizens against persecution," "It is an occasion to remind us all of the need to continue fighting prejudice and racism in our own time," "The respect of human rights and diversity lies at the heart of what the European Union stands for."
Two words were missing from Ashton's laconic statement: Jews and anti-Semitism.
The Holocaust was an exclusive outcome of European anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism which is raising its head again today in the old continent. In Greece, Hungary and Austria, neo-Nazi anti-Semitic parties are sitting in the parliaments again, France is agog over a comedian marketing anti-Semitism as entertainment for the masses, and mass media outlets in Germany, France and Poland are filled with anti-Semitism.
'Legitimate criticism against Israel's policy'In addition, in light of the deep social-economic crisis in most EU countries, neo-Nazi, fascist, anti-Semitic and racist parties may increase their representation in the upcoming European Parliament elections. But Baroness Ashton doesn’t think she should address anti-Semitism individually – as far as she and the EU are concerned, it's just part of a more general phenomenon of "racism."
In the past few years, the EU has waged a consistent battle against every effort to hold a discussion on the anti-Semitic frenzy in Europe. In 2003, a report commissioned by the EU on the issue was buried, mainly because it mentioned Muslim anti-Semitism. Later on, the EU created a comparison between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and finally argued and asserted that Islamophobia is Europe's big problem, and that in fact there is no longer significant anti-Semitism but just "legitimate criticism against Israel's policy."
In honor of the latest anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights prepared a survey which pointed to a significant increase in anti-Semitism in Europe, and as a result to the desire of one-quarter of Europe's Jews to leave their countries. Certain people in Ashton's bureau begged for weeks that the European foreign ministry would properly address the survey's terrible results, but the majority of officials there were against it.
"In the European foreign service, the famous and known anti-Israel stance has turned into open anti-Semitism long ago," admits a senior source in the European Commission, who is in constant touch with Ashton's people.
That is, apparently, the explanation for European anti-Semitism: The anti-Semites never treated anti-Semitism as a problem.