Brussels – In an impassioned speech last week, Rabbi Avi Tawil drew urgent attention to the long history of anti-Semitic hate crimes targeting visibly Jewish children across Europe, according to reporting by Juan Sanchez Gil for The European Times. Speaking at a European Parliament event on protecting the rights of religious minorities, Tawil traced Judaism’s deep historical roots on the continent while appealing for greater unity and understanding between faiths.
“Children in the streets of Europe, if they choose to publicly identify as Jewish or come out of a Jewish school, grow up with a trauma of insults and abuse. This is something common,” Tawil said, as originally reported by Sanchez. As director of the European Jewish Community Centre, he works extensively on issues of anti-Semitism and promoting Jewish culture.
Tawil argued that despite Jews having over 2000 years of history shaping European civilization, they are still often viewed as not fully European. “Jews across Europe paid full price and a very expensive price to have 2000 years or more of history in these lands,” he remarked.
Yet Tawil expressed optimism in the very gathering where he spoke, which brought together Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Baha’i, Scientologists, Hindu and other minority faith leaders alongside members of the European Parliament. “We were discussing and learning together and it made me very hopeful. These moments of sharing, these moments, these special moments that we can actually understand that we are all part of this European project,” he commented.
In Tawil’s view, defending rights for all spiritual minorities is essential for realizing the promise of an inclusive Europe. He closed by calling for faith communities to come together in solidarity and “bless Europe with the determination to defend these important fundamental rights for every single person, every single citizen in this beautiful Europe.”
We acknowledge The European Times for the information.