The EU´s Denial (FrontPageMagazine.com) By Bertrand Benoit - Financial Times 11/24/03)
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The European Union´s racism watchdog has shelved a report on anti-
semitism because the study concluded Muslims and pro-Palestinian
groups were behind many of the incidents it examined.
The Vienna-based European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia
(EUMC) decided in February not to publish the 112-page study, a copy
of which was obtained by the Financial Times, after clashing with its
authors over their conclusions.
The news comes amid growing fears that there is an upsurge of anti-
semitism in European Union countries. Among many recent incidents, a
Jewish school near Paris was firebombed last Saturday, the same day
two Istanbul synagogues were devastated by suicide truck bombs that
killed 25 and wounded 300.
Turkey, which hopes to join the EU, suffered again at the hands of
what are believed to be al-Qaeda inspired terrorists on Thursday with
truck bomb attacks on British targets.
Following a spate of incidents in early 2002, the EUMC commissioned a
report from the Centre for Research on Anti-semitism at Berlin´s
When the researchers submitted their work in October last year,
however, the centre´s senior staff and management board objected to
their definition of anti-semitism, which included some anti-Israel
acts. The focus on Muslim and pro-Palestinian perpetrators,
meanwhile, was judged inflammatory.
"There is a trend towards Muslim anti-semitism, while on the left
there is mobilisation against Israel that is not always free of
prejudice," said one person familiar with the report. "Merely saying
the perpetrators are French, Belgian or Dutch does no justice to the
Some EUMC board members had also attacked part of the analysis
ascribing anti-semitic motives to leftwing and anti-globalisation
groups, this person said. "The decision not to publish was a
The board includes 18 members - one for each member state, the
European Commission, Parliament, and the council of Europe - as well
as 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, wrote to Javier Solana, the
EU´s foreign policy chief, demanding the release of the study.
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 set in 1998, has published three reports on anti-
Islamic attitudes in Europe since the September 11 attacks in the US.
Beate Winkler, a director, said the report had been rejected because
the initial time scale included in the brief - covering the period
between May and June 2002 - was later judged to be
unrepresentative. "There was a problem with the definition [of anti-
semitism] too. It was too complicated," she said.
This week, Silvan Sha lom, Israel´s foreign minister, proposed a
joint ministerial council to fight what Israel sees as a rise in
(©2003 FrontPageMagazine.com 11/24/03)
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