2014-AM-KanervaOSCE PA President Ilkka KanervaCOPENHAGEN, 14 January 2015 – The attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris last week that followed the rampage at the offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo is a sign of the increasing virulence of anti-Semitism in Europe and points to the urgent need to combat this scourge, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) said today.

"The blight of anti-Semitism has forever left its mark on Europe and, disturbingly, continues to do so. The attack at a kosher supermarket in Paris is the latest in what appears to be a rising tide of violent intolerance directed at Jewish communities in Europe, from France to the United Kingdom to Belgium and beyond. The trend strikes at the very core of our shared human values and security. It is time for government and community leaders of all faiths to make it unmistakably clear – through policy, education and outreach – that this scourge has no place in today's world," Kanerva said.

"My condolences go out to the Jewish community in France, the largest in Europe, and it is sad to see that Jewish school children need police protection right now. At the same time, I commend the demonstration of solidarity during the weekend's march in Paris, which brought together both Jews and Muslims, including leaders from Israel and the Palestinian territories. This display shows the best of France and the best of Europe, and gives me hope for a more tolerant future," he added.

The OSCE PA President also referenced the Assembly's annual Mediterranean Forum, which has brought together parliamentarians from across the OSCE area; parliamentarians from several Partner for Co-operation countries, including Israel and multiple Arab nations; and invited representatives of the Palestinian National Council. This year's Forum will be held during the OSCE PA's Winter Meeting on 18 February in Vienna.

At the OSCE PA's 2014 Annual Meeting in Baku, parliamentarians from across the OSCE area approved a wide-ranging Declaration that included a call for "improve[ed] implementation of OSCE commitments to combat anti-Semitism, including the collection and reporting of data on hate crimes."

Also within the Baku Declaration, the Assembly "reaffirm[ed] the [OSCE's] Berlin Declaration in its unequivocal condemnation of all manifestations of anti-Semitism and its unambiguous statement that international developments or political issues, including those in Israel or elsewhere in the Middle East, never justify anti-Semitism."