Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Jewish leaders slam EU anti-Semitism report

by Bertrand Benoit in Berlin
Published: March 31 2004 11:47 | Last Updated: March 31 2004 11:47

The European Jewish Congress on Wednesday severely criticised the first large-scale report on anti-Semitism in Europe hours before the study was to be unveiled by the European Union's anti-racism watchdog in Strasbourg.

Serge Cwajgenbaum, secretary-general of the Paris-based EJC, told the Financial Times the work suffered from "enormous contradictions, errors and preoccupying omissions."

Mr Cwajgenbaum, who had been due to attend the presentation of the report at the European Parliament's headquarters at 2.30pm, said the EJC was reconsidering whether to participate. The organisation is expected to issue a press release commenting on the study later on Wednesday.

The criticism could revive accusations that the European Union has been trying to minimise the scale of anti-Semitism in the region while questioning the view, common among European Jewish communities, that the perpetrators are mainly young Muslims.

The controversy broke out after the FT revealed last November that the Vienna-based European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) had shelved a previous study after its authors concluded Muslims and pro-Palestinian groups were behind the rise in anti-Semitic incidents.

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