Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein delivered a stinging rebuke to the European Parliament for allowing violent anti-Semitism to re-emerge in their countries and for failing to oppose it vigorously in Iran.
Edelstein spoke Wednesday at a European Parliament gathering in Brussels to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
He criticized a delegation of EP members who were in Tehran recently. “I do not know who made the trip, what plans were made or what meetings were held. But I’m sure … that during that visit no one protested the international cartoon contest taking place in Tehran for the best caricature denying the Holocaust,” he was quoted by Ynet as saying.
Edelstein displayed an anti-Semitic caricature depicting the Jewish people as exploiting the Holocaust for financial gain, and noted that the “wonderful piece of art” won first place and $50,000 in prize money in a Tehran-sponsored contest.
In the speech, he referred to a number of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe over the past year, including cases of assault, desecration of cemeteries, and firebombing of Jewish establishments, aside from the ceaseless flow of anti-Israel propaganda.
“These incidents did not take place in 1933. These are cases from last year, 2017,” he said. “What difference do all the monuments to the Jewish communities make if synagogues in Europe still need to be guarded around the clock? If Jews are afraid to walk around with Star of David chains because they are afraid of being attacked?”
And excoriating a two-faced policy, he asked how it could be that “leaders embrace the rabbi of the local Jewish community in sympathy after a hate crime, but at the same time they treat Hamas as a legitimate voice in the discourse?”
“These conflicting messages do not build trust. Instead, they prevent us from fulfilling our common commitments.”