Focus on antisemitism
Last updated: 2004-12-10
The Board of Deputies has called on the European Union to allocate the task of combating antisemitism to a 'single focus' agency.
In a response to a proposal by the EU to create a single European body to address all forms of racism and discrimination, the Board expressed concern that such a panoramic mandate may result in a 'lowest common denominator' approach. By grouping all forms of racism and discrimination together, it risked neglecting individual problems specific to antisemitism.
Board of Deputies' Director of Defence Mike Whine said, "Antisemitism has very specific religious, historical and political features that are not relevant to other forms of racism. Addressing the issue of antisemitism through a general anti-racist approach has been neither successful nor productive in combating antisemitism; it is only by insisting that antisemitism be dealt with separately that results may be achieved"
The Board expressed its support for the inclusion of Non-Governmental Organisations in the role of contributors and partners in the process of data collection, but noted that no international NGO, other than the (New York-based) Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, had addressed the issue of antisemitism in any manner.
The Board also supported the utilisation of law enforcement agencies to monitor antisemitism, and thus facilitate effective analysis.
Director General Neville Nagler noted that, "Individual governments must not be allowed to avoid their responsibilities. Through the monitoring of antisemitic incidents by law enforcement agencies and the collection of data country by country, governments would have the ability to examine their own national shortcomings and successes."