The European Jewish Congress (EJC) took part in a Board Meeting of the European Parliament Working Group against Antisemitism (WGAS) to discuss the ongoing increase in antisemitic incidents in Europe since October 7, following the start of the war between Israel and Hamas.
The meeting was hosted by WGAS Chair Nicola Beer MEP (Renew Europe) who was joined by Vice-Chair Sergey Lagodinsky MEP (Greens) and Board members Ilana Cicurel MEP (Renew Europe) and Dietmar Köster MEP (S&D). Catharina Rinzema MEP (Renew Europe) was also in attendance.
EJC Executive Vice-President Raya Kalenova provided an update on the upsurge in antisemitism faced by European Jewish communities since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, emphasizing the need to enhance the security of Jewish institutions and strengthen the fight against antisemitism both online and offline.
Ms Kalenova highlighted that the dramatic increase in antisemitic incidents in Europe was unprecedented, as there were over 1,000 antisemitic incidents in countries such as France or the United Kingdom, including physical attacks, solely in the last month.
President of the European Union of Jewish Students Emma Hallali gave an overview of students’ experiences of antisemitism on campus, raising awareness of the challenging situations Jewish students are facing in universities. She said that Jewish and Israeli students are being targeted by fellow students, professors and academic authorities in campus, being told that the Hamas massacre was justified.
Ilana Cicurel MEP reported on her recent mission to Israel, where she witnessed the destruction caused by Hamas against innocent civilians and met with high-level politicians, members of civil society, and families of the victims, hostages, and internally displaced.
The WGAS issued a joint statement after the meeting, condemning the surge in antisemitism in Europe following the Hamas attack on Israel and calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held in the Gaza Strip.
WGAS is an informal cross-party alliance of Members of the European Parliament dedicated to raising awareness and contributing to strengthening the fight against antisemitism in the European Union. The EJC acts as Secretariat and Member of the Advisory Board of WGAS.