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Rabbis and IHRA appeal against prejudice and violence

We should not be afraid neither to go the synagogue or to wear the kippah. This is the meaning of a call to action by the Conference of European Rabbis meant “to contain the dramatic increase in antisemitic episodes.” Signed, among others, by the Rabbi of Rome and Conference vice-president Riccardo Di Segni and the Rabbi of Milan Alfonso Arbib, the letter calls on governments to ensure overall safety of Jewish Europeans citizen so they “won’t be afraid to go to the synagogue, to send their children to school, or to wear the kippah in public.” According to the group, “almost every synagogue or Jewish institution in Europe” has been recently targeted by the growing climate of hatred, and “not a few individuals fear for their physical safety.”
The document does not make any explicit reference, but in the last weeks the news reported many concerning episodes across Europe, from the Stars of David painted on homes and shops in Paris to the Molotov cocktail thrown at a synagogue in Berlin and from slogans invoking the destruction of Israel heard at many rallies to the Stumbling stones commemorating the victims of the Holocaust burnt in Rome.
The Conference of European Rabbis, chaired by the former Rabbi of Moscow Pinchas Goldshmidt, is “grateful for the support offered in these years by European governements” starting from the commitment to help “Jewish communities to prosper and grow”, which is now tested by the circumstances. Threats against Jews and Jewish institutions, reads the letter, are not “only hate crimes or misleading responses to the Mideast situation.” They are “attacks to Europe and to the European lifestyle.”
An appeal was launched also by International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Secretary General Dr Kathrin Meyer. The statement slams the unprecedented rise in antisemitism and calls on the relevant authorities and stakeholders around the world to ensure the protection of Jewish people, homes, and institutions against violence and hate speech. “All of us have a responsibility to work against hate and unequivocally denounce all incidents of antisemitism”, she said. “The protection of Jewish schools, community centers, and synagogues is no longer a precautionary measure, but a response to firebombing, riots, and the hate-filled intentions of antisemites, professed on social media and graffitied across building facades. Around the world, those blaming Jews for Israel’s actions seek to push Jewish people out of their respective societies, and increasingly turn to violence to do so.”