“Our partnership with EJC will facilitate ADL’s involvement in helping provide a safer environment for European Jews,” said ADL national director Jonathan Greenblatt.
The Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday announced that it will partner with the European Jewish Congress to lobby the European Union and national governments in order to counter rising anti-Semitic violence engulfing Europe.
According to a joint statement by the two groups, issued immediately prior to International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the collaboration will give the ADL “a greater impact on EU policies and programs,” enhancing relations between it and local communities and allowing the New York-based advocacy group to share its expertise on combating racism.
“ADL and EJC share commitments to the well-being of Jewish communities in Europe and to strongly support the State of Israel,” explained ADL national director Jonathan Greenblatt.
“EJC brings a strong voice in Brussels and is the recognized representative of the collective will of the Jewish communities of Europe… Working together, we will leverage our respective strengths to pursue our common goals more effectively.
“Our partnership with EJC will facilitate ADL’s involvement in helping provide a safer environment for European Jews,” he added.
In a report issued last year, the EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights said that European countries lack systematic methods of collecting data on anti-Semitism, contributing to “gross underreporting of the nature and characteristics of anti-Semitic incidents that occur.”
In its report, the agency said “few EU member states operate official data collection mechanisms that record anti-Semitic incidents in any great detail,” which “limits the ability of policy makers” to deal effectively with growing hate crimes.
According to a 2014 study by the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, anti-Semitic violence rose by nearly 40 percent over the previous year. While steps have been taken to combat this rise in 2015 – including the European Commission’s appointment of the continent’s first coordinator on combating anti-Semitism – the violence is expected to continue to rise in the coming years.
As such, the ADL and EJC’s memorandum of understanding will focus on “advocacy work within European institutions…on issues of security for Jewish communities in Europe, combating anti-Semitism, protecting religious freedom, Israel and the Middle East and anti-racism Internet policies.”
“I am delighted that we are partnering with such an august institution as ADL which has a longstanding record of fighting for greater tolerance and against the scourge of hatred, racism and anti-Semitism,” said newly reelected EJC president Dr. Moshe Kantor. “The EJC, as the democratically elected body representing European Jewish communities, is committed to finding workable and durable solutions to many of the challenges facing European Jewry and we look forward to working with the ADL to this end.”