Muslim states to join EU Kristallnacht memorial

Unprecedented Muslim representation was seen at the Nov. 10 “Special Event Promoting Tolerance Throughout the European Continent” at the European Parliament in Brussels. Representatives of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Libya, Morocco, Turkey and Malaysia, among others, attended the event, part of the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht. The event was organized jointly by the European Parliament and the European Jewish Congress. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 10)

Days before the event, members from all parties of the German parliament passed a resolution seeking to counter anti-Semitism in the country. The measure requires the government to develop a report on anti-Semitic behavior and sentiment in the country, and to provide funding for school programs designed to combat anti-Semitism.

The legislation was delayed last month due to objections from the opposition Left Party—which rejected text condemning anti-Semitism in pre-reunification East Germany. As a result, two identical resolutions were passed—one signed by the Left Party, the other signed by the remaining four parties.

The US State Department now issues yearly reports to Congress on anti-Semitism around the world in the wake of President George W. Bush’s 2004 signing of the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004. The act created an anti-Semitism office within the State Department and mandated an annual review and report on global anti-Semitism, in much the same way that the Department already reported on human rights and religious freedom. (Jurist, Nov. 5; UPI, Oct. 25)

See our last posts on the politics of anti-Semitism, the legacy of World War II and the struggle within Islam.