FSWC Applauds Landmark UN Report on Antisemitism

September 27, 2019

Statement

Toronto (September 25, 2019) – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) applauds a new UN report that underscores the global rise of antisemitism as a threat posed not just to Jews, but to the fundamental “rights of all in societies in which this insidious hatred is unaddressed.”

The report, Combating Antisemitism to Eliminate Discrimination and Intolerance Based on Religion or Belief, points to the varied sources of antisemitism across the world, including far-right, neo-Nazi and radical Islamist groups as well as the growing prevalence of ‘left wing-’or ‘campus-’ antisemitism, which relies on antisemitic narratives in order to criticize the State of Israel. The report affirms that “attempts to delegitimize the right of Israel to exist, including calls for its destruction,[are] a contemporary manifestation of antisemitism,” and notes with respect to the antisemitic BDS movement that any “expression which draws upon antisemitictropes or stereotypes, rejects the right of Israel to exist, or advocatesdiscrimination against Jewish individuals…should be condemned.”

“This new report is a big step forward. Finally, the UN is beginning to recognize the scope and seriousness of the antisemitism problem and recognize the dangers of antisemitic rhetoric, whether it is coming from the left, the right, or from within the UN itself,” said FSWC President and CEO Avi Benlolo. “This report speaks directly to the facts that we in the Jewish community have known for some time – that antisemitism is on the rise, it is diverse in its sources, and is central to the rhetoric of the BDS movement and other types of attacks on Israel.”

Among its recommendations, the report calls on governments to “identify, document, and prohibit” incidents of antisemitism, and urges all states to adopt the definition of antisemitism forwarded by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)  as a tool to “facilitate more accurate and uniform monitoring of antisemitism…and educating officials and the broader public about the diverse forms of antisemitism.” Canada adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism, which is notlegally binding, in June 2019.

The report was published by the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, and will be presented to the UN General Assembly next month.

“We hope this report will receive the warm reception it deserves at the General Assembly, and that it fosters a renewed effort by the international community to work effectively and together in its fight against antisemitism,” Benlolo said.

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