“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
On Tuesday, at the Fifth Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the resurgence in worldwide anti-Semitism.
Netanyahu told the crowd of more than 1,000 Jewish community representatives, diplomats, and others gathered for the biennial conference that “contemporary anti-Semitism doesn’t just slander, vilify and target Jewish people, it first and foremost targets the Jewish state.”
Although following the Holocaust, many had believed that “humanity would discard one of history’s oldest hatreds,” 70 years after the liberation of the Nazi death camps of World War II, “Jews everywhere are once again being slandered and vilified,” he said.
“Jews are now being targeted for being Jews” in “intolerant parts of the Middle East” and in “tolerant parts of the West,” he said. He told the audience that anti-Semitism “is not limited to the various sects of militant Islam, nor is it limited just to the xenophobic elements on the fringes of European society.”
“Today, it wears the mask of so-called progressive thinking in the West. The champions of tolerance are remarkably intolerant of Jews and the Jewish state,” he said. “Classic anti-Semitism portrayed Jews as the embodiment of all evil in the world,” while contemporary anti-Semites “do the same with the Jewish state.” (JPost)
“The Jewish state is treated among [the] nations like the Jewish people were treated for generations,” he emphasized.
The Prime Minister also stressed that Jews everywhere have the right to live as Jews, and their governments are responsible to protect that right. He thanked those governments, some of which were represented at the conference, for protecting that right, while emphasizing that Jews everywhere also have the right to settle in Israel.
Netanyahu said that even Israel’s humanitarian work is being used as an opportunity to spread lies about Israel.
Describing the work of the IDF’s humanitarian mission to Nepal, he noted that the United Nations has credited Israel as being the nation to send the second largest relief team to Nepal. During that work, Israel’s aid team delivered several babies, saving the lives of new mothers; yet, Iran and Venezuela twisted that good news and charged Israel on state television with trafficking in babies.
Netanyahu called this a perfect example of “the Big Lie technique” in which the aggressor accuses his victim. This same technique was cruelly used by the Nazis against the Jews in the 30s.
Noting that Iran did not send a rescue team to Nepal, he emphasized their tragic record in human rights.
“They lecture us on human rights, on the rule of law, on safeguarding human decency? They string people in cranes, innocent people in cranes in the squares of Tehran and Iran’s other cities. They send their goons to Lebanon, to Syria, to Yemen, slaughtering people by the thousands. They slaughter Muslims. They target Muslims who do not share their violent creed.”
Topics at the three-day conference included best practices and approaches for combating anti-Semitism.
In this effort, working groups were formed to create action plans. These groups targeted specific regions and issues, such as the Muslim and Arab world; former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe; delegitimization and anti-Zionism; and law, legislation and enforcement. (JPost)
German Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection Heiko Maas told the conference attendees that he set up a commission to discover why the German judicial system let so many Nazi criminals go free after the Holocaust and “to root out the last remnants of Nazi law from our books once and for all.”
“If we want to tackle anti-Semitism in the present, it is vital to take a self-critical look at the failings of our past,” Maas said. “One of these failings is that present-day Germany still has laws in force drafted by Nazi jurists. I find this absolutely unacceptable.” (EJPress)
“We as a country, as a government, do this not because it’s popular—we know it’s not popular—but because it’s the right thing to do,” he said. (Algemeiner)
Europe, however, has divergent forces at play in high levels of authority. Late 2014, the European Union (EU) Court removed Hamas from its list of terrorists and most recently formed its own conference that seems to equate anti-Semitism with Islamophobia. (JPost)
But others in the EU, such as EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, are trying to initiate corrective action. Though not present at the forum herself, she announced earlier this year that she is backing a European Union task force on anti-Semitism.
“I transferred the idea to (EU commission vice-president) Frans Timmermans, who has the formal authority in this issue, and we are already working on various initiatives,” wrote Mogherini in the Italian newspaper La Republica. (EUObserver)
With all these action plans at play, perhaps the 40% rise in anti-Semitic violence that plagued 2014 will again decrease in years ahead, and Jews will not feel the need to hide their Jewish identity in public as they do throughout many nations of the world today.
Other say that will only happen with a national change of heart, which cannot be legislated.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8)