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Friday, June 27, 2003

SOLANA: "There's no wave of anti-Semitism in Europe"

At the sidelines of Wednesday's US-EU summit in Washington, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana met with the House of Representatives International Relations Committee, Reuters reports.

"When the issue of increased anti-Semitism was raised, he looked at us and said, 'There's no anti-Semitism. There's no wave of anti-Semitism in Europe,'" said Florida Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler, who has visited Israel and Syria recently.

"I was stunned to hear him say, more or less, that there has not been a rise in anti-Semitism in Europe," said Florida Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a leader on the committee. "And so I said, 'Oh, it must be another Europe.'

The Simon Wiesenthal Center and other groups have noted a spike in anti-Semitic attacks in Europe since 2001, with 1,300 attacks in France alone, including the stabbing of a rabbi in Paris and the torching of a synagogue in Marseilles.

WIESENTHAL CENTER DISPATCH FROM EUROPE:
"There is More Antisemitism Today than in the 1930s." - Simon Wiesenthal - April 2003

"Antisemitism is the Burden of Europe." - Rudolph Giuliani, Former New York City Mayor and head of the U.S. Delegation to the OSCE Conference on Antisemitism - June 2003


RECENT DEVELOPMENTS FROM THE SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER

United Kingdom:

East Ham, London - May 2003

· 500 gravestones were damaged in East London in the worst recorded desecration of a Jewish cemetery in Britain.

· Member of Parliament Tam Dalyell, Father of the House, (Labor’s senior MP) accused Prime Minister Blair of "being unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisers."

· After a trip to the Middle East, two British Members of Parliament compared the situation in Gaza to the suffering endured by Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Nazi era.

· The first member of the openly antisemitic and racist British National Party, Ramon Johns, was elected to an English City Council seat. He won the election in Broxbourne on an anti-asylum platform.

Germany:


Berlin, May Day 2003

· German authorities counted 1,257 antisemitic attacks in statistics released for 2002.

· An Orthodox Jewish student was attacked by 3 youths in Berlin who followed him out of a subway and beat him; a man wearing a Jewish Star of David was kicked and spat on in a public bus by youths, and a religious Jew was assaulted by a group of four youths on a busy Berlin street as passersby looked on.

· Four neo-nazis in Eastern Germany tortured and murdered a schoolboy because they decided he looked like a Jew. The body was found 4 months after the murder when one of the assailants boasted of the killing.

Italy:

· Photos of "veiled Palestinian women" were displayed above pictures of Holocaust victims in a Holocaust exhibition at the Italian Monument for the Deportation Museum in the former concentration camp of Fossoli di Carpi. After protests by the Wiesenthal Center, the offensive pictures were removed.

France:
Etaples, France - April 2003

· A British Allied cemetery was desecrated in Northern France with hate graffiti including "they are soiling our land" and "may Saddam prevail and spill your blood."

Austria:

· A rabbi in Vienna was attacked by two youths who shouted antisemitic insults, kicked him, and hit him over the head with a beer bottle. His three children, who were with him were not injured.

Croatia:

· The Croatian government has announced it has plans to buy land in Austria to build a monument honoring thousands of Croat Nazi troops and civilians who were killed there in the aftermath of World War II.

Belarus:
· A memorial to the victims who perished during the Holocaust in the Minsk Ghetto and a Jewish graveyard were defaced with Nazi swastikas. Four graves in the Bobroisk Jewish cemetery 90 miles south of Minsk were desecrated with antisemitic graffiti.

Russia:·
The Russian Interior Ministry says there are currently up to 15,000 skinheads in Russia with the largest group operating in Moscow.

· Moscow City court ruled that the publication of books like the Jewish Occupation of Russia, Mein Kampf, and The Protocols do not incite racial hatred. The Court closed an investigation against the publisher of these books who wrote that, "Jews are by their very nature destroyers, the children of the Devil...."

Belgium:

· Nazi sympathizer, Michel Delacroix, has been appointed by the far-right National Front Party to the Belgian Senate.

Greece:

· Vandals painted swastikas on a monument in memory of the 50,000 Jews from the Greek town of Salonika who died in Nazi concentration camps.

· A prominent Greek professor from the London School of Economics, Nikos Mouzelis, wrote an article published in the Sunday edition of To Vima, the largest Greek newspaper, blaming the Jews for the crisis in the Middle East and for the lack of peace in the world.