EJC Director of European Affairs addressed high-level meeting on antisemitism in Vienna

EJC Director of European Affairs Ariella Woitchik addressed the European Conference on Antisemitism organised by the Austrian Federal Ministry for EU and Constitutional Affairs in Vienna on 17 and 18 April 2023.  

The conference brought together Special envoys and coordinators on combating antisemitism across Europe, representatives of member states and Jewish organisations, and officials of European Union Institutions to discuss practical ways to enhance cooperation in the fight against antisemitism and strengthen the reporting of antisemitic incidents. 

Karoline Edtstadler, Federal minister for the EU and the Constitution at the Austrian Chancellery opened the conference alongside IKG President Oskar Deutsch and Maram Stern, Executive Vice President of the World Jewish Congress.

Ms. Woitchik spoke about the need to restore confidence among European Jewish communities when it comes to report antisemitic incidents to relevant authorities.

“Only a clear and unified framework will give reassurances to Jewish citizens across Europe that they will be heard when reporting an antisemitic incident. Being a victim is already very hard in itself, feeling afraid or helpless to denounce what you have gone through is a continuation of your suffering. If public authorities want to restore the confidence of their Jewish citizens the answer is to act more swiftly against antisemitic incidents, and develop and apply stronger criminal laws against antisemitic hate crimes, that must be recognized as such,” said EJC Director of European Affairs.  

She continued by expressing her gratitude on behalf of EJC’s affiliated communities to Austria, which leads by example when it comes to fighting antisemitism, preserving the memory of the Holocaust, and fostering Jewish Life.” You can read Ms. Woitchik full speech in this link: https://eurojewcong.org/resources/28643/.

EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) Director Michael O’Flaherty also participated in the conference and reminded the participants on the urgent need to tackle antisemitism and to honor and celebrate Jewish life and culture. You can read his full speech at Vienna’s European Conference on Antisemitism in this link: https://eurojewcong.org/news/news-and-views/european-conference-on-antisemitism-in-vienna-fra-directors-underlined-the-resurgence-of-antisemitism/.

Later that day, Ms. Woitchik attended a roundtable on the current state of antisemitism in Austria hosted by the President of the Austrian National Council Wolfgang Sobotka at the Austrian Parliament as part of the European Conference on Antisemitism. Participants discussed the findings of the third survey on antisemitism commissioned by the Austrian parliament.