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September 3, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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September 3, 2004

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JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 3, 2004 PAGE 11 L Gruber (JTA)--With of eight former md the of Malta and European Union eastward this year : 25 members. Post-World War II Europe divided photo by Pierre Levy, CRIF Alsace and west, and at Tombstones spray-painted with swastikas and anti-Se- time validated the mitic slogans in an attack on the Herrlisheim cemetery in Jewish communi-Alsace, France, in May. member Countries Many Jews looked forward ences on anti-Semitism held European and to enhanced business, educa- in Europe this year. tional and other opportunities OSCE governments unani- Jews, the and hoped enlargement would mously adopted a declaration facilitatecontactamongJewish pledging to fight "new forms" kg communities, of anti-Semitism and reject- as terror- But some Jewswarned that ing any attempt to use the anti-Semitismandcriticismof Israeli- Palestinian conflict as gissues Israelcould risein the newE.U, a justification for hate crimes the Jewish yearmember states, against Jews. "What might change is the The declaration said anti- e against syna- relatively more balanced ap- Semitism "has assumed new and other proach some new members, forms and expressions, which erupted in especially Poland, have taken along with other forms of including on-theMiddle East conflict," intolerance pose a threat to bombings at said Polish Jewish writer Kon- democracy" and civilization. synagogues in stantyGebert."As the E.U. at- Concerns about anti- also were a tempts to integrate the foreign Semitism, terrorism and the attacks on Jewish policies of its members, it can perceived demonization of Is- be expected the newcomers rael in both European media Same time, Jews in will more closely toe Brus- and popular opinion weighed with some- sels' line, markedly critical of heavily on European Jews and bulent internalIsrael." That could already be forced communities to step up seen in July, when the 10 new security. Second World E.U. members voted with the Jewsthemselvesweretornby with more established E.U. coun- left-right political debates that tries in favor of a U.N. General reflected the political divide in find an Assembly resolution ordering Israel. Some warned that fears ~eans of asserting Israel to dismantle its West of external threats could lead articulating Bank security barrier, to a "re-ghettoization" of Jew- collective--andThe surge of anti-Semitic ish life. attacks and insinuations since But internal Jewish politics, the biggest chal- the outbreak of the Palestin- alongwith religious and social is to get Jews ian intifada in September issues, lay at the heart of day- 2000 has prompted a number to-day Jewish life. :thatwearenotjust of high-profile surveys and "Ourmainconcernisensur- international conferences on ing the continuation of our Holocaust the issue, community," said Zdravko "Jonathan In December, theE.U.Moni- Sami, president of the 200- president of toting Center on Racism and member Jewish community ~fJewish Xenophobia shelved a report in Macedonia. JTA. that revealed rising anti- Jewish lay leaders in some Semitism among Muslims in countries were criticized for is not defined by Europe, prompting an outcry, weakness, lack of vision and percent Leaked to the Financialeven financial impropriety. said. Times newspaper, the report, Conflicts between Orthodox made his remarks prepared in 2002, showed that and Reform Jews deepened third General As- "the anti-Semitic incidents in in some countries, and some European Jewry,the monitoring period were religious leaders came under held in committed above all by right- fire for being too exclusive gathered wing extremists and radical and stifling pluralism. Islamists or young Muslims." In Prague, the Orthodox The report also pointed to an chief rabbi, Karol Sidon, was than 40 countries, increase in left-wing anti- fired at the end of June by a at the assemblySemitism. community board recently across-the-board Anew report for the moni- elected on a self-declared ranging toringcenter, releasedinApril, "reformist" platform. Sidon, in the Middle caused further outrage when however, was to remain in his it reversed course and asserted position as chief rabbi of the to that most of the anti-Semitic Czech Republic. issues such as violence in Europe since 2002 The Prague community elder care, mixed had been carried out not by already had voted to recognize promotion young Muslims but by "young Conservative Judaism as an heritage, white Europeans" influenced established stream. cultural creativity by extreme right-wing politi- In Germany, the Central cal ideas. Council of Jews took its firsL ~f exhibi- U.S. and European Jewish steps towelcome Reform con- publications leaders blasted the new report gregations under its umbrella. among them for minimizing the extent to The move, which came after of Sephardic which anti-Semitic violence yearsofbitterinfighting, meant held in was linked to the Middle East that the 15 Reform congrega- conflict and support of the tions can apply for a share of Jewish muse- Palestinians. approximately $4 million in and the Eum- A survey carried out for the federal funding the Central for Jewish Anti-Defamation League in 10 Council distributes to its 84 grants to Eumpeancountrieslastspring member congregations. artists, writers showed a drop in anti-Semitic Some observers decried attitudes since the ADL's last the inner conflicts, but others ECJC General poll on the issue, in 2002. But said the ferment simply re- Budapest was a it also showed a marked rise in flected normalcy, particularly anti-Israel sentiment, in emerging communities in that had split Both reports were issued former communist states. Jews just before the 55-member Addressing delegates to the the Cold Organization for Security and ECJC meeting in Budapest, Cooperation in Europe met in Jonathan Joseph summed up eXPansion in itself Berlin in April for a two-day thecomplexities, concernsand conference on anti-Semitism, contradictions. This was the most prominent "We are looking at a po- of several high-level confer- litically united Europe for the first time ever," he said. "We are experiencing a reawaken- ing of Jewish life and culture in Europe on a scale not seen for 100 years." At the same time, he added, "We are living at a most delicate moment in global Jewish terms with the Middle East in turmoil again, an intermingling of anti-Zion- ism with anti-Semitism and the physical manifestation of this uncomfortably close to us. "How we respond over the next few years will be one of the most significant things we will do as a Jewish people, and par- ticularly as a European Jewish people,"he said."Anti- Semitism will never disappear, but thebest antidote to anti-Semitism is a positive presence of Jews." LKW 0 FF|C.F. OF ~ ~! :~! !~ ~!!! 'i~ ~ ~i i~ F !,~ ~ ~: i: ~ Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando 10th Anniversary Celebration: An Evening with Morris Dees from the Southern Poverty Law Center MORRIS DEES Wednesday, September 22 (6:00 pm) at the Crystal Ballroom on Church Street, Downtown Orlando. Featuring celebrity host Moira from the Philips Phile on Real Radio 104.1. 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