By Hana Levi Julian
(April 29, 2019) Dr. Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, addresses Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) International Conference on the Responsibility of States, Institutions and Individuals in the Fight against Anti-Semitism in the OSCE Area, in Rome, and Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, who attended the conference in his role as Chairman of Yad Vashem Council.
A key European Jewish organization on the continent is warning the deadly shooting attack this Sabbath at Congregation Chabad of Poway in California is a sign that anti-Semitism is growing in America.
European Jewish Congress (EJC) President Dr. Moshe Kantor says the attack by 19-year-old white supremacist John Earnest, “coming exactly six months after the mass murder in Pittsburgh, demonstrates a very worrying trend in anti-Semitism in the U.S.”
The EJC is the representative organization of European Jewry, representing some 2.5 million Jews in 42 European communities.
Kantor warned in a statement that the attack, coupled with the “horrifically anti-Semitic caricature in The New York Times over the weekend and the repeated attempts by local political leaders to diminish, belittle and even in some instances, justify, anti-Semitism, means that sadly the U.S. is moving towards European levels of anti-Semitism.
“These attacks are changing the face of Jewish life in the U.S. just as we have faced in Europe for some time now,” he added.
Kantor said the attacks also demonstrate how important it is for synagogues, schools and Jewish community centers around the world to continue to receive protection from the authorities and local volunteer groups.
“We must never be complacent about the threat our communities face,” he said, warning of a “Europeanization” of anti-Semitism in the U.S., which he said is affecting Jews’ rights to live, congregate and pray as a community.
“We have learned the hard way in Europe that extremism, whether Left or Right, is connected in its disdain for Jews, and one continually feeds off the other.
“We call on all leaders of the world to take the fight against anti-Semitism more seriously and clamp down on those who spread hate, because eventually it becomes a problem for society as a whole,” he urged.