Every Jewish family in Europe is considering whether to “leave or stay” and authorities need to “deliver some real gestures,” says European Jewish Congress head Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor. Jewish exodus could trigger an economic crisis in Europe, he warns.
Europe is on the verge of a serious economic crisis if the European Union does not introduce new legislation to counter anti-Semitism, according to the president of the European Jewish Congress.
Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor said every Jewish family on the continent is contemplating whether to “leave or stay” as they fear levels of anti-Semitism are rising.
“This minority is going in case authorities are not delivering some real, real stuff,” Kantor told Reuters at London’s Kensington Palace.
“This minority is going to leave Europe, definitely because this question just now in every Jewish family in Europe: to leave or to stay. There’s no other solution. And the only one thing which can stop at the moment this process is real gestures of the authorities on a European level and on a British level.”
Last month, the body that advises Britain’s estimated 260,000 Jews on security reported that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain had risen to a record level in 2014.
Across Europe, Jews have warned of a growing undercurrent of anti-Semitism. Those fears have been exacerbated after an Islamist terrorist killed four people in a Jewish supermarket in Paris two months ago as well as after ther attacks targeting Jews in Copenhagen and Brussels.
Kantor said European lawmakers needed to take action to ensure Jewish communities have the necessary protection from the continuous terrorist threats they face.
Kantor, who is also the president of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, warned that if the authorities took no action, then the potential Jewish exodus from Europe could create an economic crisis.
“If at the moment authorities are not going to deliver some real gestures, I think it will be the trigger for a very, very important economical crisis in Europe and in any country, any big country,” he said.
“I think out of 3 million Jews that are living in Europe at least 1 million, very active part or young part, self-sufficient part, are going to leave and it will be a disaster, an economical disaster for Europe in general, because first of all some supporters, non-Jewish supporters, will come with Jews. It’s a lot of cash and money currents are going to leave Europe and also businesses.
“We should react on the level of gestures and intentions, visible intentions, not to wait until it’s on the level of murdering people; this is the key point just now. We are in front of a strong demand from civil society to modify the legislation fighting against racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism.”
At the event, the ECTR awarded Cameroonian soccer player Samuel Eto’o with the European Medal of Tolerance for his stance against inequality.