EJJP meets Katharina Von Schnurbein, the European Commission’s Coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life

A delegation of the European Jews for a Just Peace (EJJP) met the European Commission’s Coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life, Katharina Von Schnurbein, on the 6th of June 2023 in Brussels. The EJJP delegation was composed of Mr. Dror Feiler, EJJP chair and president of Swedish Judar för Israelisk-Palestinsk Fred (JIPF), Mr. Simon Chabrillat of the Belgian French-speaking organization, Union des Progressistes Juifs de Belgique (UPJB), and Mr. Yoav Shemer-Kunz of the French Organization Union Juive Française pour la Paix (UJFP). The EJJP delegates from Sweden, France and Belgium were accompanied by legal experts from the European Legal Support Center (ELSC) – its director, Mr. Giovanni Fassina, and Ms. Alice Garcia, advocacy & communication manager.

The delegation presented to Ms Von Schnurbein and her team the new ELSC report, released on that day, ‘Suppressing Palestinian Rights Advocacy through the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism – Violating the Rights to Freedom of Expression and Assembly in the European Union and the UK’. Based on 53 recorded incidents between 2017 and 2022 in Germany, Austria and the UK, the report confirms that allegations of antisemitism invoking the IHRA definition are overwhelmingly aimed at Palestinians, Jewish activists and organisations advocating for Palestinian rights. During the meeting, that took place at the premises of the Directorate-General Justice and Consumers of the European Commission (DG JUST), the EJJP delegates expressed their growing concerns about the negative impact of the IHRA definition on the fundamental right of freedom of expression, which have so far been ignored by the EU in its strategy on combating antisemitism.