Photo: Ori Porat
Lauder. 'The United States must lead'
Photo: Ori Porat

Lauder: Radical Islam fueling anti-Semitism in Europe

World Jewish Congress president says Europe's Jews are living in fear like in 1930s, urges US to 'condemn this evil for what it is – the radical Islamic hatred of Jews.'

World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald Lauder urged the United States on Tuesday to beware surging anti-Semitism in Europe and warned that seven decades after World War II Jews on the continent are having to look over their shoulders once more.



The prominent Jewish figure told a congressional committee in Washington that the US could not sit by quietly, with events such as the recent attack in France underlining the growing threat.


"Once again, like the 1930s, European Jews live in fear," said Lauder, a billionaire businessman who inherited a fortune from his mother Estee Lauder's cosmetics empire.


"The United States can and must speak loudly and clearly to condemn this evil for what it is –- the radical Islamic hatred of Jews."


"To defeat this new flame of radical Islamic terror and survive... the United States must lead," stressed Lauder, whose mother was Jewish and in whose faith he was raised.


The WJC represents Jewish communities in 100 countries.


Attack on kosher Paris supermarket. 'This is a war against Western modern civilization, and the Jews are seen by these jihadists as a privileged target'
Attack on kosher Paris supermarket. 'This is a war against Western modern civilization, and the Jews are seen by these jihadists as a privileged target'


Lauder’s remarks came in testimony before the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, chaired by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), on the topic, "After Paris and Copenhagen, Responding to the Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism."


Lauder, who was joined by Roger Cukierman, president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF), and Dan Rosenberg Asmussen, president of the Danish Jewish community, noted that anti-Jewish attacks recently had hit France – in Paris and Toulouse – as well as in Copenhagen.


He said the recent deadly wave of terror attacks against Jewish targets were only the latest signs of a rising wave of anti-Semitism sweeping across Europe. This new form of anti-Semitism is being driven by radical Islam, but pushed along by extreme nationalists on the right and anti-Israel intellectual elites in universities, he said.


"European leaders have stepped up and strongly condemned these attacks on Jews and the rise of anti-Semitism," he said. "The United States must do the same. The United States must lead."


Further, Lauder criticized the absence of any US representation at the anti-terror march in Paris in the wake of the attacks on the satiric weekly Charlie Hebdo and on a kosher supermarket, which drew world leaders and over 1 million participants.


"Many of the leaders in Europe linked arms in solidarity in the very front row, but there was not one US representative with them in the front row," he said. "I believe that sent a very negative message around the world."


Danish society "itself is not and has never been anti-Semitic and many of the threats facing Danish Jewry – like in the rest of Europe – come from marginalized and radicalized Muslims, and these form a small minority of all Muslims in Denmark," Asmussen said.


Cukierman added: "This is a war against Western modern civilization. And the Jews are seen by these jihadists as a privileged target.


"We Jews are the sentinels at the forefront of this war. But we are not the only victims. Military forces, policemen and women, journalists were also targeted and killed."


Since the attacks in Paris in January that left 17 dead, France has been on the highest possible alert with thousands of police and troops deployed at sensitive sites, such as media headquarters and synagogues.


But counter-terrorism officials say this will do little to prevent an attack like the one on the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris.


Lauder cited a string of statistics behind the rising anti-Semitism. Jews represent less than 1% of the French population, but were targeted by more than 50% of all racist attacks last year. Anti-Semitic attacks in France, the US and Austria all doubled from 2013, he added. In fact, an EU report from nine nations showed that 16 months ago – long before the latest wave of terror – Jews in these countries were already concerned about growing anti-Semitism.


Lauder concluded by urging the US to take the lead in countering this trend. "Why isn’t the United States leading the world in this crisis?" he said.


פרסום ראשון: 03.25.15, 19:22
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