Combating Antisemitism: The Action and Protection League in Brussels

Between 12-13 October, the Action and Protection League attended a conference in Brussels organised by our partner organisation, the European Jewish Association.

The framework of the conference was combating antisemitism, and the first day program included the yearly meeting of Jewish leaders, where antisemitism and the means to fight it was discussed. On the second day, the program’s target audience was mainly politicians and officials from all over Europe.

APL was represented by our founder, Rabbi Slomó Köves, General Secretary Mr. Kálmán Szalai, Foreign Affairs Director Mr. Tamir Wertzberger and Head of the French Branch Mr. Yoram Cohen. The organisation announced the official opening of its representative office in Brussels, which will be located in Rue Froissart 109, right between the building of the European Parliament and the European Commission. A new English website was also launched, which contains the APL’s new database on antisemitism in Europe. The organisation created an integrated index combining three factors: antisemitic incidents, FRA reports on Jews’ perceptions regarding antisemitism and self-safety and the results of APL’s new survey. This integrated index best reflects antisemitism and antisemitic trends in Europe.

The highlight of the event and the main topic was APL’s new survey on antisemitic prejudices in Europe, which already made a huge impact in the international media. The main purpose of the survey was not to point out the most antisemitic and most tolerant countries in Europe, but to add a new factor and perspective to a very complex phenomenon in order to better understand what we are facing.

APL also proposed practical solutions to combat antisemitism in Europe, including an education program. The project of developing a local “white book” in EU countries which would set the norms for reviewing national curriculum and textbooks is supported by the International Visegrad Funds. The organisation aspires to extend its monitoring network to the entirety of Europe. It turned out that there are many potential partners from all over the continent, and the organisation received great feedback on its activity and ideas.

The Action and Protection League is ready to form new partnerships with other national organisations and is willing to share its monitoring system and education program. We invite other Jewish organisations to collaborate and take action together.