IJC Blueprint for Combating Antisemitism in Europe
‘A Call to Action’
5th Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism (GFCA)
Jerusalem, 12-14 May, 2015
The Israel-Jewish Congress (IJC) is honored to participate in the 5th Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism (GFCA), being held in Jerusalem on 12-14 May, 2015, under the auspices of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.
The GFCA is the premier biennial gathering for assessing the state of Antisemitism globally, and formulating effective forms of societal and governmental response. It is being held in the presence of the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, and attended by Jewish leaders from around the world, lawmakers and officials from Israel, Europe and North America, as well as leading experts and many others who are active in the fight against Antisemitism.
This event is taking place only 70 years since the end of the Holocaust, after the international community took the collective oath of ‘Never Again’. Yet here we are, 70 years since the end of the darkest chapter in Europe’s history, and Antisemitism has once again surged to record levels, with 2014 being a peak year of Antisemitic incidents. Brussels, Paris, Copenhagen, Berlin … virtually no part of Europe is free from this indomitable evil.
The only difference is today it is not only attacks on Jews as individuals, but also attacks and vilification against Zionism and the State of Israel.
Time has long passed to stop just talking about Antisemitism. Mere words are not enough, and great expressions of sympathy, while always nice, just not sufficient. Today it is time for action!
To this end, following extensive consultations with Jewish communities in Europe, who are at the forefront of Antisemitism, The Israeli-Jewish Congress (IJC) will be presenting at the Global Forum our Blueprint, containing a set of concrete, actionable and urgent action items to combat this pernicious hatred against the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
Some of the key action items in our Blueprint include:
- Reframing the debate from a ‘Jewish problem’ into a broader European challenge.
- A set of legal tools, including having a comprehensive & binding definition of anti-Semitism in Europe, enforcement of Holocaust denial laws & more stringent anti-hate speech legislation (including for on-line media).
- Mobilizing parliamentary action: The European Commission should have a directorate for the fight against anti-Semitism and Racism, including a full-time special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism. At the same time, the European Parliament should establish an urgent taskforce charged with presenting concrete policy proposals to fight anti-Semitism on a Europe-wide level, with individual Parliaments to do likewise for their countries. And with increasing proportion of Jewish community budgets going towards security, European states & EU institutions should contribute greater funds to this need.
- Greater emphasis on outreach, with Jewish communities and NGOs forming alliances with other groups, including civil society organizations and moderate Muslims.
- Recognize that an attack against a Jew anywhere is an attack against Jews everywhere, it is imperative that Jewish and Israeli organizations unite and consolidate amongst ourselves in this common struggle.
- Education is also critical. People are not born to hate; they learn to hate. EU member states should make study of racism, including Antisemitism, the Holocaust and its implications, mandatory in high schools.
- Connecting Anti-Zionism and delegitimization of the State of Israel as modern-day Antisemitism.
- The United States, as a global champion of freedom and human rights, can, and must, urge their European parliamentary counterparts to take a more leading and active role.
- And lastly, the role of the State of Israel, which as the State of the Jewish People, also has a moral and historical responsibility to help fight anti-Semitism.
We attach the full Blueprint for your consideration and welcome any comments, feedback or questions you may have.
For further information and media enquiries, please contact:
Mr. Arsen Ostrovsky, Director of Research, IJC (Ph: +972-53-274-5633 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org )
The Israeli-Jewish Congress is an independent Israeli-based organization devoted to promoting the principle of Israel as the State of the Jewish People & strengthening ties between Israel and the Diaspora, particularly with the Jewish communities of Europe.