Josep Borell accused of antisemitism by EJA

The European Jewish Alliance (EJA) held an emergency summit of over 100 European Jewish leaders in Amsterdam, where delegates of the organisation unanimously adopted a resolution saying that EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borell is further increasing antisemitism in the EU with his extreme criticism of Israel.

„He has demonstrated a clear and recurrent anti-Israel bias that has contributed significantly to the ongoing rise in antisemitism and  the vilification of the State of Israel in European public life,“ the document reads.

The meeting was also attended by Kálmán Szalai, General Secretary of the Action and Protection League, Rabbi Jonatán Megyeri, editor-in-chief of Neokohn, and László Győrfi, co-president of the Hungarian Unified Jewish Congregation (EMIH).

In his speech, Kálmán Szalai said that while thousands of demonstrators are publicly chanting „gas the Jews”, demanding the extermination of Jews, Western intellectuals are silent.

„We cannot count on others to defend us. We must act ourselves! We must identify every antisemitic incident,“ Szalai concluded.

The resolution, unanimously adopted by more than 100 delegates of the EJA, recalls that Borrell claimed that Israel was deliberately causing famine in Gaza – a claim Israel strongly denied. They also cite him saying Israel „created” Hamas, which Borell’s critics – including Portuguese security analyst João Lemos Esteves – claim „feeds antisemitic conspiracy theories.”

The resolution says that instead of merely reflecting the agreed position of the 27 member states on Israel, Josep Borrell is overstepping his mandate and „on his own initiative, he has embellished or supplemented the positions adopted by the European Council.“

In October 2023, Borrell criticised Israel’s response to the Hamas terror attack, calling for a ceasefire that even drew criticism from European leaders. The diplomat was one of the first to welcome what he called an „important decision” by the ICC chief prosecutor to seek an international arrest warrant for the Israeli prime minister and defence minister – putting democratically elected leaders on the same level as representatives of a terrorist organisation.

As of now, diplomat Josep Borell has not yet responded to the charges against him.

Aiming to find ways to combat the harassment of Jews across Europe and the rising tide of antisemitic hate since October 7, besides Borell’s condemnation, the resolution focused on two other major issues: the lack of meaningful measures adopted by governments to date in dealing with the record rises and existential threat, and the widespread but ineffective adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.