It states that the EU member states should develop, among other things, better methods for recording anti-Semitic incidents and a comprehensive reporting system. The two-day “European Conference on Antisemitism” is also to be held in Austria in the future, said Edtstadler.
Edtstadler named the previous activities that should lead to a more uniform fight against anti-Semitic activities and incidents in Austria and the EU: A separate staff unit was set up in the Federal Chancellery for implementation. Furthermore, there is a tripling of funding for the Israeli religious communities to make Jewish life in Austria visible. In addition, there would be courses to raise awareness in the judiciary, the army and the police. Edtstadler acknowledged that the high number of anti-Semitic incidents in the latest report. “We have to become more efficient, hence the two-day conference to bring all the actors involved in combating such incidents around one table. The goal is networking and the exchange of knowledge. It’s about better comparability and classification of anti-Semitic incidents,” says Edtstadler. In Austria, 965 incidents were registered in 2021, an increase of 65 percent compared to 2020.
“Sticking your head in the sand doesn’t help”
the anti-SemitismCommissioner for the EU Commission, Katharina von Schnurrbein, said that from the point of view of the Union, the initiative is a sign of how much states can get involved. “The fight has to happen above all at national level, otherwise the situation won’t change. anti-Semitism is incompatible with everything that Europe stands for,” said von Schnurrbein. The national strategies of the member states should be launched by the end of 2022. “Budging your head in the sand doesn’t help, nor does measuring incidents alone. We need staying power, the structures in Europe are still very different,” said the EU representative at a press conference in the Federal Chancellery.
Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the European Fundamental Rights Agency, stated that the situation regarding anti-Semitism recently deteriorated. The situation has also gotten much worse online, keyword “hate online”. It affects young Jews more than older ones. Many said they would leave. “It’s also a task for Europe. We can anti-Semitism If you don’t fight it, it is also a danger for the European project. In some countries, there are not even structures for recording incidents,” said O’Flaherty, who, like von Schnurrbein, praised Austria for its tenacious leadership on the matter.
The President of the Jewish Cultural Community in Vienna, Oskar Deutsch, said with the Austrian and the European strategy against anti-Semitism the course is set for the defense of democracy and future generations of young Jews. “Thank you that Austria has established itself as a pioneer,” said Deutsch towards Edtstadler. Reporting incidents is the basis of combating the virus anti-Semitism. “We have to know how it articulates itself, where it occurs and who is behind it. Anti-Semitism does not begin in the gas chamber, but with hostility, slander and insults,” says Deutsch. Everyone in Austria, in the EU and in the world can show civil courage, “in the inn, in the tram or on the football field”. He’s already given up anti-Semitism wanting to defeat it as a whole, but it should be possible to greatly reduce it. anti-Semitism does not come from majorities, it comes from minorities.