The EU Strategy to Combat Anti-Semitism and Promote Jewish Life. Valuing difference as an European policy

At the western end of the great Eurasia, Europe has been the scene of countless wars for centuries, the most violent, deadly and barbaric. Religious wars, clashes due to nationalism, civil wars for the struggle for independence, great clashes between empires that led to the Great War and World War II. Over the centuries, Europe has refined the best in the field of Art, Science and Technology, but it has also improved the most effective ways of killing.

In this context, Europe's relationship with memory is very complex. World War II is still close and fears of current radicalism lead authorities to fear an increase in political movements that defend racism, in general, and anti-Semitism, specifically.

Today, it is difficult to be a Jew in part of Europe, with frequent attacks to religious buildings. The Lusófona Unversity, part of a consortium led by the CSI - Center for Social Innovation, Cyprus, which also other institutions from Germany and Greece is currently developing the project «PROSECUW - PROtection and Security for places of Worship», financed by the ISF-P Internal Security Fund – Police, focused in this problem.

After dozens of years of growing democracy with an huge valorization of difference, the “vaccine” that was the Second World War and the barbarities carried out, seems to be ceasing to have an effect, in the words of Noam Chomsky.

The social alarm, along with the effective violence that has taken place in many European countries, has led to a growing migration of European Jews out of Europe (US and Israel), but also to European countries where anti-Semitic tension is much weaker, as is the case of Portugal, which has welcomed many European Jews, whether from Turkey or France and the United Kingdom.

The EU Strategy to Combat Anti-Semitism and Promote Jewish Life, recently launched by the European Commission, is an effective cry from European bodies against this evil that seems to grow year after year, where more and more extreme-right leaders defend xenophobic postures, racists and even Nazis.

More than defending the diversity that has always embodied European society, this difference must be valued through the way of life. An identity, whether religious or not, is affirmed through its pride of belonging and the possibility of living daily according to the rules and precepts that mark it.

This program is more than a quest for religious freedom and the fight against a brutal and anachronistic radicalization that is anti-Semitism. This program aims to enhance difference, Jewish life, in this specific case, seeing it as one of the bases of a Europe that asserts itself through its diversity.

It is not enough to protect; it is necessary to value. It is not enough to give the possibility to live; it is necessary to value the ways of life.