Reinhard Bütikofer, Co-chair of the European Green Party, made a statement to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day taking place on 27 January.
“Anti-Semitism is not, has never been and never will be tolerable. Hatred, violence and discrimination based on race, religion or nationality, in this case against the Jewish community, are something we have to oppose with all the means available to us.
“However, resurgent anti-Semitic sentiment is spreading all around Europe, as recent data from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) suggest. 2014 witnessed increasing rates of anti-Semitic incidents in many EU countries, coinciding with the recrudescence of violence in the Middle East. According to a recent FRA survey, 76% of respondents believe that anti-Semitism has increased in their country during the past five years, while 21% experienced anti-Semitic verbal or physical attacks in the previous 12 months. Together with the worrisome episodes we witnessed last year in Belgium, Denmark and elsewhere in Europe, this reminds us that anti-Semitism continues to be a topical and urgent problem that needs to be tackled in a serious and decisive way.
“State authorities have a moral and a legal obligation to protect their citizens and to make Europe a place where everyone can live safely and express their religious beliefs without fear. The EU and the Member States need to cooperate if anti-Semitism is to be countered effectively. For this reason we call on all the EU countries to step up their efforts in collecting relevant data, implementing consistent criminal laws to punish all forms of anti-Semitism and in combating prejudice through relevant education policies”.