Lack of national plans to combat antisemitism is an issue

French EU Minister Laurence Boone pointed out at a Senate hearing last Wednesday that thirteen EU member states have not yet adopted national plans to combat antisemitism.

At the Senate hearing on Wednesday, November 1, French EU Minister Laurence Boone stressed that thirteen of the EU member states have not failed to roll out an antisemitism strategy, referring to one of the recommendations in the EU strategy on the matter, which states pledged to adopt by the end of 2022, reports the Euractive.

Boone’s cabinet also pointed out that although the EU strategy condemns the “inconsistent” registering of reported incidents, particularly as “member states use different methodologies and data can therefore not be compared”, a minority of member states do not even record antisemitic acts as such or distinguish from other types of reprehensible acts.

Because of the low implementation rate, Boone proposed that  diplomatic pressure should be exerted “on the Commission to find out where we stand” on implementation.

“The Commission has a moral obligation to ask member states to mobilise on the issue of antisemitism in light of the past month,” her cabinet added.

Since the Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October, antisemitic and Islamaphobic acts have multiplied in many countries. More than 1,000 antisemitic acts have been recorded in France.

In a statement issued on Monday, the European Commission also actively warned of a “spike of antisemitic incidents across Europe [which] has reached extraordinary levels in the last few days, reminiscent of some of the darkest times in history. European Jews today are again living in fear.”

On the wider implications of the geopolitical crisis in the Middle East, Boone stressed that all EU members had agreed on three pillars: “Security and the fight against terrorism [including] Israel’s right to defend itself in compliance with international humanitarian law; the protection of civilian populations [and the implementation of] a ‘humanitarian pause’ [and] the start of political negotiations”.

The first-ever EU strategy on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life was adopted in 2021 (“EU Strategy on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life (2021-2030)”). The aim of the 46-page document, which was published on October 6, is to prevent and combat all forms of antisemitism, protect and foster Jewish life in the EU, and develop Holocaust education and research programs. It is not legally binding, but outlines several reforms to enable member states’ to tackle antisemitism in their country and “commit to a future free from antisemitism in the EU and beyond.”