Deadly attack on Jews in Brussels and landslide victory for extremist parties in EU-elections raises concerns in Europe

EU_flag_and_building– ECI calls for increased support for work in Brussels

Brussels, 26th May, 2014 – The deadly attack on a Jewish museum in Brussels on Saturday and the landslide victory of extremist and openly anti-Semitic parties in the EU-member states have left a chilling effect on the Jewish communities in Europe.  Four people were left dead after an unidentified gunman on Saturday opened fire in the Jewish museum in Brussels. Two of the victims were Israeli citizens whilst the other two were local Jews working at the museum.

The shock and horror caused by the brutal terrorist attack on Saturday was made worse on Sunday as the results from the European Parliament elections started to come in. The elections mark a landslide victory for many populist parties with a xenophobic and anti-Semitic agenda, from Golden Dawn and the extreme left in Greece to the National Front in France and Jobbik in Hungary.

While many still analyse the incoming results one thing seems clear – the new European Parliament will have more openly racist and anti-Semitic members than in any previous European Parliament. The first elections to the European Parliament took place in 1979.

– Whilst the next five years may prove to be our most challenging yet, the European Coalition for Israel is committed to continuing the work in the European Parliament to combat the rise of antisemitism but in order to do so we need help, Founding Director Tomas Sandell said on Monday.
– Now, more than ever, it is important for every European of good will, to speak up against any form of antisemitism or racism. We cannot afford to let the European countries slide deeper in to this abyss of extremism and hatred, he said.

European Coalition for Israel was founded in 2003 in Brussels in order to promote good relations between Europe and Israel. The organisation has been instrumental in initiating the Holocaust Remembrance Day event in the European Parliament and has worked actively and consistently to combat new forms of antisemitism and anti-Zionism.

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