September 15, 2021

Muraru: Gov't commitment to combat antisemitism, including by implementation of ECRI recommended measures, remains firm
Sep 15, 2021

Muraru: Gov't commitment to combat antisemitism, including by implementation of ECRI recommended measures, remains firm.

The Government took notice of the actualization of the General Policy Recommendation on preventing and combating antisemitism, issued by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) of the Council of Europe, and hails this demarche, according to deputy Alexandru Muraru, special representative of the Executive for the Promotion of Memory Policies, Combating Antisemitism and Xenophobia. "The ECRI conclusions regarding the rise of antisemitism and antisemitic in the online environment in Europe are profoundly concerning. The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance of the Council of Europe correctly notes the recent increasing trends in the number of physical attacks with antisemitic nature in many member-states of the Council of Europe and phenomena such as denying or distorting the Holocaust or the spread of hate speech, especially in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. In the past year, Romania also registered antisemitic incidents, both online as well as offline, committed by political extremists and urged mainly by the public speech of representatives of an extremist political party present in the Romanian Parliament. In this context, the commitment of the Government to combat antisemitism, both on the national level and on the international level, including by implementation of the measures recommended by ECRI, remains firm," says Alexandru Muraru in a release sent on Wednesday to AGERPRES. He showed that the first category of recommendations of the ECRI for the intensification of the fight against antisemitism places emphasis on institutional policies and coordination, emphasizing that, as special representative of the Government for the Promotion of Memory Policies, Combating Antisemitism and Xenophobia, he grants particular attention to these aspects and, especially, the need to ensure coordination between the institutions and structures specialized in combating antisemitism. "Another pillar of recommendations of the ECRI regards the formation of a professional category with a role in preventing and combating antisemitism, improving data collection about antisemitic incidents and a better education on antisemitism and Holocaust in schools. These recommendations reconfirm the viability and importance of implementing the National Strategy regarding the prevention and combating of antisemitism, xenophobia, radicalization and hate speech, document adopted by the Government in May, this year, as well as the Action Plan associated to the Strategy, which will be implemented in the next three years (2021-2023)," adds Muraru. He indicates the fact that in what regards the protection of members of Jewish communities and victims of antisemitic incidents, ECRI recommends increasing the interaction and level of relations with security structures. In this context, Alexandru Muraru mentions that, in the future, it is essential that the Romanian Police and Prosecutor's Offices treat the cases of antisemitic attacks seriously, and the legislation in force be applied quickly by the authorities. The representative of the Government hails the emphasis placed by ECRI on the recommendation to use the working definition of antisemitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, for a better understanding and identifying the expressions of antisemitism. "The working definition of antisemitism of IHRA was adopted during the Romanian presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, and Romania was one of the first countries that adopted on a national level this definition and the only country that adopted a law to combat antisemitism inspired by this definition. Thus, having in view the progress made in the past 15 years in the legislative and institutional domain, Romania acquired the status of regional model in what regards assuming the past and combating denial and distortion," Alexandru Muraru concludes. AGERPRES (RO - author: Florentina Peia, editor: Florin Marin; EN - author: Razvan-Adrian Pandea, editor: Simona Iacob)

[Read the article in Agerpres]

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