< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://bokertov.typepad.com/ btb/" >

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Findings showed Muslims and pro-Palestinian groups behind antisemitic attacks in Europe

So EU watchdog report will not be published
EU Business: The European Union's racism watchdog refrained from publishing a report on anti-Semitism that said Muslims and pro-Palestinian groups were behind many attacks, the Financial Times reported Saturday.

The Financial Times has obtained a copy of the 112-report report which the Vienna-based European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) had decided in February not to publish, the newspaper said on its Internet website.

It said the EUMC had clashed with the report's authors for defining anti-Semitism as also including some anti-Israel acts.

The EUMC officials felt the focus on Muslim and pro-Palestinian perpetrators was inflammatory.

There have been growing fears, expressed especially in the United States, over increased anti-Semitism in European Union countries.

Beate Winkler, an EUMC director, had in September warned in an Austrian newspaper interview against the rise in such racist and anti-Semitic incidents.

Only last week, a Jewish school building near Paris was the target of an apparent arson attack.

This attack came on the same day, November 15, that two synagogues in Turkey -- which hopes to join the EU -- were destroyed by suicide truck bombs that killed 25 and wounded 300.

The EUMC had commissioned the report from the Centre for Research on Anti-Semitism at Berlin's Technical University, which filed it in October last year.

One person familiar with the report said it had alleged that "there is a trend towards Muslim anti-Semitism, while on the left there is mobilisation against Israel that is not always free of prejudice."

"Merely saying the perpetrators are French, Belgian or Dutch does no justice to the full picture," this person said.

Some EUMC board members attacked part of the analysis ascribing anti-Semitic motives to leftwing and anti-globalisation groups, the person said, adding that "the decision not to publish was a political decision."

The board includes 18 members - one for each of the 15 EU member states as well as a member each from the European Commission, Parliament, and the Council of Europe. There are also 18 deputies.

One deputy, who declined to be named, confirmed the directors had seen the study as biased.

In July, Robert Wexler, a US congressman, had written to Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, demanding the release of the study, the Financial Times said.

It said Ole Espersen, law professor at Copenhagen University and board member for Denmark, said the study was "unsatisfactory" and that some members had felt anti-Islamic sentiment should be addressed too.

The EUMC, which was established in 1998, has published three reports on anti-Islamic attitudes in Europe since the September 11 attacks in the United States.
See also "Sharon has ignited the fire of anti-Semitism" at Gulf News and or Aljazeerah, but don't expect me to provide links.

Shavua tov. Blogging's going to be light ~ I'm sick :/