The International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians (ICJP) last week passed a pair of resolutions that called on Iran to end its nuclear enrichment program while urging European lawmakers to adopt protocols that address a “disturbing” rise in anti-Semitism.
And in a separate resolution, the Jewish lawmakers criticized a number of European governments that had passed measures against male circumcision, calling those steps a denial of religious liberty.
The ICJP is an initiative of the World Jewish Congress that includes lawmakers from the United States, Canada, France, Israel, Costa Rica, Hungary, Ukraine, Belarus and elsewhere. It meets periodically to promote democracy and human rights while advocating for measures that address anti-Semitism and racism. It met last week in Washington and New York where its steering committee elected U.S. Congressman Eliot Engel as chair and Canadian MP Irwin Cotler as deputy chair.
Cotler called the resolution on Iran “comprehensive.” It acknowledges the recent agreement between Iran and the P5+1 nations, but points out that UN Security Council resolutions have repeatedly called “for suspension of enrichment, and that this agreement is a violation of international law.”
The ICJP asks the P5+1 “to adhere to international law and ensure that Iran does not enrich [uranium] en route to a nuclear breakthrough,” Cotler said.
On the issue of anti-Semitism, U.S. State Department Special Envoy to Monitor Global Anti-Semitism, Ira Forman, told the parliamentarians that anti-Semitism had become “dramatically worse in the last decade,” particularly in France, Hungary and Venezuela.
The ICJP resolution cited a survey by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency that found 76 per cent of European Jews believed anti-Semitism had become “more acute and has increased in their country in the last five years.”
The agency also reported that in a 12-month period, 21 per cent of respondents experienced at least one incident involving verbal insult, harassment or physical attack because they were Jews.
European and Latin American parliamentarians briefed their colleagues on developments in their countries. They “spoke movingly about the intensification of anti-Semitism there,” Cotler said.
The ICJP is in the position of being able to raise public awareness on this issue and on Iran, he added.