AJC Praises Belgium for Thwarting Anti-Semitic Conference

May 04, 2014, 15:11 ET from American Jewish Committee

BRUSSELS, May 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC's Brussels-based Transatlantic Institute (TAI) praised Belgian authorities for preventing an anti-Semitic conference that was planned for today in Anderlecht, one of the 19 municipalities in Brussels. The planned "European Congress of Rebellion" would have brought together Jew- and Israel haters from Belgium and France.

"Government and civil society leaders must join in combatting the alarming rise of anti-Semitism and extremism across Europe," said TAI Director Daniel Schwammenthal. "By ensuring that this obscene hate-fest will not be permitted in the capital of Europe, Belgium has demonstrated solidarity with the Jewish community and a reaffirmation of democratic values that are threatened by anti-Semitism and racism."

The "European Congress of Rebellion" was organized by Laurent Louis, a far-right member of the Belgian Parliament. Addressing parliament in January, Louis said, "the Holocaust was set up and financed by the pioneers of Zionism."

Among the scheduled speakers at the banned "European Congress of Rebellion" today was French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala. He has been convicted several times in France on anti-Semitism charges and his shows have been banned for their anti-Semitic content. Another planned participant was Franco-Swiss author Alain Soral. A former National Front member, Soral has a history of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist statements, calling Judaism, for example, "something that verges on mental illness."

Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, director of AJC France, warned that "extremists have forged pan-European alliances based on their hatred of Jews. Democracies across Europe must stand firm against anti-Semitism and racism, and create a comprehensive plan to fight those who defy European values and principles."

AJC, the global advocacy organization, maintains European offices in Berlin, Brussels, Paris and Rome. TAI celebrated its tenth anniversary in February.

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SOURCE American Jewish Committee