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Europe

Prodi Suspends Anti-Semitism Seminar

European Commission President Romano Prodi has suspended preparations for a seminar on anti-Semitism scheduled for next month after two of the most important Jewish organisations accused the Commission of anti-Semitism.

Commission President Romano Prodi has suspended the preparations for a seminar on anti-Semitism scheduled for next month after two of the most important Jewish organizations accused the European Commission of bias against Jews. In a letter sent on Monday to the president of the World Jewish Congress, Edgar Bronfman, and the president of the European Jewish Congress, Cobi Benatoff, Prodi said he was "surprised and shocked" by their comments which appeared in a Financial Times editorial. The writers took the Brussels executive to task for releasing a poll in November in which Israel was named the greatest threat to world peace. They also condemned the censorship of a study which concluded that Muslims and pro-Palestinian groups were behind many reported incidents of anti-Semitism. Prodi, however, said that the center behind the report was independent, and that the Commission was not responsible for the decision not to publish the report. The meeting on anti-Semitism in Europe was agreed to by Prodi and the World Jewish Congress after the furore caused by the publication of the poll last November. "The attitude you have shown goes against our best and mutual interest," Prodi said in his letter, adding that it forced him to suspend the preparations for the seminar. ( EUobserver.com)