MEPs reject taskforce on antisemitism


Campaigners working to combat antisemitism have attacked the European Parliament's decision not to form a special group to tackle Jew-hatred across the continent.

Despite forming groups to deal with issues including wine, fishing and animal conservation, a proposal for a dedicated antisemitism taskforce was rejected by MEPs in Brussels last Thursday.

There are 28 new "intergroups" which contain politicians from all parties and are used for informal discussions and meetings with charities, think-tanks and members of the public.

One group will consider "anti-racism and diversity" but there will be no specialist body dealing with antisemitism.

The JC understands more than 100 MEPs had pledged their support for a working group to tackle the rise of Jew-hatred across the continent. All of the European parliament's political groupings had also backed the plan.

The are 28 'intergroups' for issues such as wine and fishing

Jardena Lande, director of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (ICCA), said: "We had some amazing support from individual MEPs but when it came to the groups voting, they did not go for it.

"They accepted one on general racism because it is not exclusive to any one group. But given the climate and the year we have had, it's very disappointing."

Ms Lande said the European Parliament had "special responsibility" for combating antisemitism given the continent's history and the current rise in incidents.

"It's hugely questionable why they would not let us have a separate group on this issue right now," she said.

Decisions and findings of the groups are not official European Parliament policy and effectively hold no weight within the parliament, but will operate until the next European elections in 2019.

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