Migrants to Europe who have rid themselves of dictators can free themselves as well of antisemitic prejudices, said the European Commission Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism.
Katharina von Schnurbein said that people “who have taken upon themselves the challenge of ridding themselves of dictatorships, and making their way to Europe, are capable of stripping themselves of antisemitic prejudices if it is raised with the context of integration measures.”
And, she added, the EU has agreed that “knowledge about Jewish life, and the Shoah, and the acceptance of Jewish life should be part of integration measures.”
Ms. von Schnurbein said that it was important that “all young people in Europe learn about the Jewish contribution to Europe throughout the centuries,” that they “understand better what the Shoah meant for Europe in terms of the interruption of culture,” what Jewish life is like today in Europe and what the resurgence of antisemitism means for Jews living there now.
Ms. Von Schnurbein was in Israel to take part in a joint EU-Yad Vashem event to promote Holocaust research, said at a briefing at the EU offices that it must be impressed upon everyone – from teachers to judges – that any form of violence or hatred cannot be justified because there is a conflict somewhere else in the world, such as in the Middle East.
“It is important to understand that the perception that people have from looking at the Mideast conflict is not transposed on the perception of Jews in Europe,” she said. “European Jews are part of our society, and they are not to be held responsible for what is happening here.”