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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 June, 2003, 16:27 GMT 17:27 UK
Europe warned over anti-Semitism
A Molotov cocktail was thrown at this synagogue in Montpellier last year, but attackers missed their target
Attacks on synagogues have increased since 11 September 2001

The United States has said Europe must do more to tackle a resurgence of anti-Semitism around the world.

The plea was made by former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, representing the US at a conference in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

"Words do not suffice to turn the tide of anti-Semitism that is once again growing in Europe and other parts of the world," he said.

About 400 officials from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have gathered for the unprecedented two-day meeting following a rash of anti-Jewish incidents in Europe in recent years.

The European Union told the conference it was taking action against anti-Jewish hatred but denied there had been a distinctive rise in anti-Semitism.

Official limits

Mr Giuliani told delegates to take concrete steps to stamp out violence against Jews, including keeping statistics on hate crimes, identifying problems early on and comparing performances between countries.

In a message read to the conference, US President George W Bush urged countries to "ensure that anti-Semitism is excluded from school text books, official statements, official television programming and official publications".

Last month, the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre said attacks on Jews had reached the highest level since World War II.

As well as physical attacks on Jews, many countries have reported vandalism of synagogues and Jewish cemeteries,

Hate messages

French representative Michel Voisin, whose country has experienced a six-fold increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the space of a year, said France viewed anti-Semitism as a "particularly odious form of racism".

The Polish delegate, former Polish Foreign Minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, warned that anti-Semitism had "mutated" in Poland since the Holocaust, which wiped out nearly all of Poland's pre-war Jewish population.

Rudolph Giuliani
Giuliani says more needs to be done to stamp out anti-Semitism

Several delegates pointed to the problem of the internet being used to spread hate messages, while Dutch OSCE ambassador Daan Everts highlighted "[racist] music [and] racist slogans in football stadiums".

Israeli chief representative Avraham Toledo called on conference delegates to make anti-Semitism a criminal offence.

"It will not do to classify assaults on Jews, synagogues or Jewish communal institutions as mere hooliganism and vandalism," he said.

The conference opened a day after the Romanian Government retracted an earlier claim that "there was no Holocaust" on Romanian soil.


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