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May 21, 2006

Discussion of Anti-Semitism Struck from EU Conference on Media Racism

According to the Jerusalem Post:

Israel will boycott a European Union-sponsored conference on "Racism, Xenophobia and the Media" being held Monday in Vienna because the issue of anti-Semitism is not on the agenda, The Jerusalem Post has learned. ...

Diplomatic officials in Jerusalem said that when the Vienna conference was first organized last year, it had planned to address racism in the media, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. ...

The original description of the conference received in Jerusalem in March said that the two-day seminar, which would be attended by a number of media personalities from Europe and the Arab world, would deal with racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.

However all references to anti-Semitism had been removed from an updated description that the Foreign Ministry received on May 11, while a report on Islamophobia in the press was still on the agenda.

The conference is part of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, which includes Syria, Algeria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and the Palestinian Authority. Some of those countries might have benefited from discussion of the anti-Semitism in their media. But they are not alone. The European press also has room to improve in that area.

The US Department of State's "Report on Global Anti-Semitism," released in 2005, notes that

Anti-Semitism in Europe increased significantly in recent years. ... Beginning in 2000, verbal attacks directed against Jews increased while incidents of vandalism (e.g. graffiti, fire bombings of Jewish schools, desecration of synagogues and cemeteries) surged. Physical assaults including beatings, stabbings and other violence against Jews in Europe increased markedly, in a number of cases resulting in serious injury and even death. Also troubling is a bias that spills over into anti-Semitism in some of the left-of-center press and among some intellectuals.

Posted by GI at May 21, 2006 05:37 PM


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