In a speech in Brussels on Wednesday, Israeli Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein told the EU parliament that despite efforts to combat anti-Semitism in Europe, it is still rampant and widespread. “For all the work that has been done I feel that the post war sense of mission has faded,” Edelstein said.

 Yuli Edelstein (archive)

Yuli Edelstein (archive) Photo Credit: Hillel Maeir/TPS

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein gave an address at the EU parliament on Wednesday to mark the upcoming International Holocaust Remembrance Day. During his speech, Edelstein denounced the continued existence of widespread anti-Semitism in Europe and the world, despite efforts for its mitigation. 

“For all the work that has been done I feel that the post-war sense of mission has faded, leaving the real issues unaddressed,” said Edelstein. “What has been learned from all the memorials if synagogues across Europe need round the clock protection? Is Holocaust education effective if Jews on this continent don’t wear a kippah or a Star of David necklace for fear of attack?”

“The efforts to combat anti-Semitism and protect the Jews of Europe are sincerely appreciated,” Edelstein added. “But what is the message when elected officials march with the Jewish community one day and against Israel the next?”

Edelstein mentioned an EU delegation to Tehran and criticized its members for failing to protest an anti-Semitic cartoon contest that took place in the country. He then showed the audience the cartoon that won the first place in the contest, a picture depicting the Auschwitz extermination camp atop a cash register.   

“Anti-Semitism has no excuse – not religion, not poverty, not lack of education and not political disagreements,” said Edelstein. “In Jerusalem, the Jewish people made their mark on the world, therefore it was meaningful to us that last month, one country, the United States, chose to recognize the capital of Israel after 70 years of independence. Acknowledging both our ancient heritage and our modern history, I welcome all of you to do the same.”

As previously reported by JOL, an Israeli Diaspora Affairs Ministry report has revealed a worrying trend towards a rise in anti-Semitic incidents worldwide. According to the data, the highest rise was seen in the UK, where Jews have experienced a 30% increase in anti-Semitic incidents and a 78% rise in general violent incidents.