IJC in the Press: ‘A coalition against anti-Semitism’
IJC’s Senior Diplomatic Advisor, Ambassador Yitzhak Eldan, published the following article in ‘Israel Hayom’ today on the state of anti-Semitism in Europe and how the Government of Israel can help in this important battle.
A coalition against anti-Semitism
Monday April 13, 2015
This year marks 70 years since the Second World War, and, as if symbolically, anti-Semitism has returned and soared to new heights, especially in Europe. Jews have been murdered in the streets in Brussels, Paris and Copenhagen. Hundreds of cases of anti-Jewish violence occur each week, including the shooting, beating of rabbis and Jews, attacks on synagogues and the destruction and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries and memorials. Many European Jews live in fear, with no sense of personal security.
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights’ 2013 report found that nearly a quarter of European Jews hide their identity because of anti-Semitism. The Anti-Defamation League’s 2014 report found that 26% of the world’s population — an estimated 1.09 billion people — hold anti-Semitic views. The same was found to be true for 24% of people in Western Europe and 34% in Eastern Europe. During July and August of 2014, there was a 400% rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe from the same period a year earlier. In France and Germany, the number of anti-Semitic incidents has risen by 100% this year.
Anti-Zionist and anti-Israel demonstrations calling to isolate the Jewish state (through boycotts, divestment and sanctions) are growing in number and spreading throughout the world — particularly in Europe, but also in the United States and many other countries. The campaign to delegitimize Israel — which is actually a cover for the new anti-Semitism, led by the unholy coalition of Palestinian officials, Muslims and the extreme Left — is growing stronger as it threatens Israel and Jews in the Diaspora. The framework agreement signed by Iran — the anti-Semitic, Holocaust-denying country that frequently threatens to destroy Israel — ignores all of this.
Israel and its allies must use the time before the final deal is signed at the end of June to ensure that the West demands that Iran dismantle not only its nuclear program, but also its infrastructure of hatred towards the Jewish state. Putting an end to the anti-Semitic campaign against Israel — which goes against the fundamental values of the international community and the United Nations — includes putting an end to terror attacks on Jewish targets abroad.
Israel has the moral and historical responsibility to fight an all-out war against anti-Semitism. The politicians who are now in talks about establishing the next coalition must include at the foundation of any government they form a clause that emphasizes their commitment to fighting the growing trend of anti-Semitism and the efforts to delegitimize Israel.
Currently, that fight is fought by the Foreign Ministry, the Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Ministry, the Strategic Affairs Ministry, the Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism, and other groups within Israel and abroad. We must unify and strengthen the efforts of these different bodies, of Israel’s friends abroad and of the leaders of Jewish Diaspora communities who feel helpless in the struggle and who expect Israel to take on a meaningful role in the critical fight to stop anti-Semitism and delegitimization.
Yitzhak Eldan is president of the Ambassadors’ Club of Israel and senior diplomatic adviser to the Israeli Jewish Congress in Jerusalem.