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EU Shelves Anti-Semitism Report - Because it Cited MoslemsWritten by Jacob Prasch
The European Union prepared a report on anti-Semitism - but buried it because it showed that Moslem and pro-Palestinian elements are involved in most of the incidents. So reported yesterday the Financial Times of London.
The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), which serves as the EU's racism watchdog organization, commissioned a report on anti-Semitism in early 2002, following a sharp increase in anti-Jewish violence. However, when it received the report towards the end of the year, the EUMC objected to the focus on Muslim and pro-Palestinian perpetrators, judging this "inflammatory." The EUMC also did not like that the authors - the Centre for Research on Anti-Semitism at Berlin's Technical University - had included some anti-Israel acts in its list of anti-Semitic acts.
In February of this year, for the above reasons, the EUMC decided to shelve the 112-page study.
"There is a trend towards Muslim anti-Semitism," the Times quoted one person familiar with the report. "Merely saying the perpetrators are French, Belgian or Dutch does no justice to the full picture... The decision not to publish was a political decision."
Among recent incidents in the latest upsurge of anti-Semitism in European Union countries, a Jewish school near Paris was firebombed last Saturday - the same day two synagogues in Istanbul, Turkey, were devastated by suicide truck bombs that killed 25 and wounded 300.
The Times reported that this past July, U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fl.) wrote to Javier Solana, the Secretary-General of the European Union Council, demanding the release of the study.
Some EUMC members had felt that anti-Islamic sentiment should be addressed too. In fact, the EUMC has published no fewer than three reports on anti-Islamic attitudes in Europe in the past two years.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, visiting in Europe last week, proposed a joint ministerial council with the EU to fight rising European anti-Semitism. Shalom flew from Brussels to Vienna, mending relations with Austria following some symbolic acts by Austrian officials - such as a visit by Austria's Foreign Minister to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial this past July - indicating remorse for the country's role in the Holocaust.
At the same time, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was meeting in Rome to enlist the EU's current president, Italy, in stemming the problem.
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