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Thursday 22 March 2018

Shatter warns of rise of anti-Semitism in Europe

Justice Minister Alan Shatter
Justice Minister Alan Shatter
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Justice Minister Alan Shatter, who was recently the target of a racist attack on his home, has warned about the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe.

The minister also hit out at online commenters who engage in “hate speech and racism” under the veil of anonymity.

The army bomb squad was called to the minister’s home last week when a letter containing white powder and Nazi memorabilia was delivered to his home.

A separate package destined for the minister’s home was seized by gardai today when postal workers raised concerns about a suspicious powder.

Speaking in the Dail, the minister said he was “particularly conscious” of intolerance and racism as a “member of a minority in this country”.

Mr Shatter said he was “shocked” by the findings of a recent survey that showed 76 pc of Jewish people felt anti-Semitism had worsened across Europe in the last five years.

He said almost half of the people interviewed had first-hand experience of Holocaust denial in the past year, while a third of those surveyed encountered anti-Semitic harassment within the previous five years.  

The minister said the economic crisis “spawned” new right wing parties whose anti-Semitic and racist views are both “corrosive and dangerous”.

He said he recognised the “huge benefit of the web and social media” but said he was concerned at the “level of vilification, intolerance and extreme comment” which takes places on certain websites.

“We must, both as a parliament and as a society, consider how to best address this,” he said.

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