European Rabbis Condemn Attack on Austrian Chief Rabbi by Far-Right MEP
Brussels (OTS) - CER President, Chief Rabbi Goldschmidt: "FPÖ Are
No Friends of Israel or the Jewish People"
The Conference of European Rabbis (CER) strongly condemns statements
by Austrian far-Right politician and Member of the European
Parliament Andreas Mölzer attacking the Chief Rabbi of Austria and
senior member of the CER Standing Committee, Rabbi Paul Chaim
Chief Rabbi Eisenberg had written to Israeli Knesset member Nissim
Zeev asking him to refrain from participating at a conference in the
European Parliament this week, hosted by, among others, Mr. Mölzer,
an MEP from the Austrian FPO party, and pointing out the far-Right
nature of the FPO and its long documented history of anti-Semitism.
Mr. Mölzer said that Chief Rabbi Eisenberg had "forsaken the expected
moderation and bipartisanship of religious leaders expected in Europe
altogether, by defamatory statements abroad" and "should be condemned
in the strongest of terms."
The CER strongly supports the letter of Chief Rabbi Eisenberg to
Knesset Member Nissim Zeev asking him to desist from attending this
event and affirms the chief rabbi's duty to speak out forcefully in
defence of the rights and values of his Jewish community.
The CER also expresses its deep concern that supporters of the State
of Israel have chosen to attend events which are used as a platform
by parties of the far-Right in Europe to legitimise their views of
intolerance and fomenting ethnic and religious strife.
"We should be under no illusions that parties and politicians with
long histories of collaboration with Nazism and current policies of
intolerance towards ethnic and religious minorities in Europe are no
friends of the State of Israel and no friends of the Jewish People,"
said Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, President of the Conference of
"It is of profound distress to us that friends of Israel in
mainstream political parties in Europe and abroad, and including
members of the Israeli Knesset, are drawn into seeking such alliances
which affront the memory of the victims of the Shoah."
The CER has long taken a strong position against the extreme-Right in
Europe and chose to hastily move its bi-annual convention from Vienna
to Bratislava in 2000 in protest against the inclusion of the FPO and
its then leader, Jörg Haider, in the government of Austria.
The CER welcomed the then position of the European Union to impose
sanctions on Austria for this act and regrets that the EU no longer
adopts such strong positions based on the core values of the Union.
With the growth of far-Right and neo-fascist parties in Greece,
Hungary and other European states, the CER calls on all politicians
committed to values of tolerance and democracy to actively spurn
attempts which legitimise these parties and seriously threaten the
fabric of peaceful civil society in Europe.
The CER federates Jewish religious leaders in over 40 European states
and includes all Europe's chief rabbis and senior rabbinical judges.
The CER is active as a representative of Jewish communities in the
institutions of the European Union in Brussels and holds consultancy
status as an international NGO at the Council of Europe.
CER - CONFERENCE OF EUROPEAN RABBIS
Conference of European Rabbis,
Tel: +32 498 161 999,