- "The Coordinating Forum for Countering Antisemitism"
is the Israeli Government's official function charged with the fight against
antisemitism. It was decided to establish the International Commission
for Combatting Antisemitism (ICCA). This new body, whose establishment
was announced at the abovementioned discussion, will operate all over the
world integrating into its activities governmental, academic and other
elements (as it is being done in Israel by the Forum for the Coordination
of the Struggle Against Antisemitism). The idea is that in each country
a National Commission is to be established connected to the International
- Discussion about The Establishment of the International
Forum for Combating Antisemitism 6 January 2002 On 6th January 2002, a
discussion was held at the Israeli Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem on the
establishment of an international body to battle/combat antisemitism. The
Deputy Foreign Minister opened the discussion by defining "new antisemitism".
He explained that until now dealing with antisemitism had meant "counting
episodes, but now "the new antisemitism" is different in that
it is organized in "campaigns," and the episodes are the result
of "hate campaigns". The Deputy Foreign Minister defined new
antisemitism as the reverse side of the terrorism coin. Reference here
is to "ideological terrorism" which must be taken very seriously
because it leads to physical terrorism. The new antisemitism is not a matter
of numbers. This kind of antisemitic campaign utilizes sophisticated technologies
such as television, Arabic satellites ("which spread hate from Bangladesh
to Marrakech"), Internet etc. They also exploit the United Nations
and the universities among other institutions. The aim of the new antisemitism
is the demonization of the State of Israel. The new antisemitism has given
the old antisemitism its "legitimacy" back, and now we are witness
to the fusion of the two, The Deputy Foreign Minister provided several
recent examples. In Denmark, the second highest ranking prelate in the
Danish church devoted his Christmas sermon to the murder of Palestinian
children in Bethlehem. In Chile there are examples of the veteran Nazis
joining forces with Palestinians. In South Africa Jewish students are afraid
to wear skullcaps. In the United States, since the 11th September, Holocaust
deniers such as Duke have begun accusing Israel and the Jews of being behind
the attacks in New York.
- 1. The Deputy Foreign Minister went on to explain that
antisemitism does not recognize borders, therefore it is necessary for
us to internationalize the struggle against it and to lend our support
to everyone who suffers from antisemitism. Therefore it was decided to
establish the International Commission for Combatting Antisemitism (ICCA).
This new body, whose establishment was announced at the abovementioned
discussion, will operate all over the world integrating into its activities
governmental, academic and other elements (as it is being done in Israel
by the Forum for the Coordination of the Struggle Against Antisemitism).
The idea is that in each country a National Commission is to be established
connected to the International Commision. The National Commission is to
comprise sub-committees on education, information, students etc. The heads
of the National Commissions will be members of the International Commission
along with other prominent personalities who will lend the Commission name
recognition. This new body will carry out its work in various parts of
the world, and in the initial stages it will be directed jointly by three
people: Deputy Foreign Minister Rabbi Melchior, Prof. Irwin Cotler of Canada
(an expert on human rights and member of parliament) and Mr. Per Ahlmark
of Sweden (previously Deputy Prime Minister and a well known author and
journalist). The International Commission will be headed by a "presidency"
composed of well known figures. Most of the members of the ICCA will be
non-Jews. The Deputy Foreign Minister summed it up by saying that although
the Jews are the victims of antisemitism, it is a disease afflicting non-Jews,
and therefore it is the non-Jews who must struggle against it. He explained
that prominent figures must be included in the struggle against the atrocities
of hate in modern society and in the fight against antisemitism. Funding
for these activities is to come not only from Israel but also from other
governments and from NGOs. Of course Israel must play an important role
in the stuggle against antisemitism, since as the Jewish State and it is
therefore incumbent upon it to carry on this struggle. Nevertheless, the
struggle against antisemitism is not only and Israeli issue, and thus people
of good will all over the world must share with Israel the burden of combatting
the new pollution and ideological terrorism threatening the human race,
human honesty and the democratic society.
- 2. Further on, Per Ahlmark, who had come especially from
Sweden for the discussion, addressed the group. Mr. Ahlmark has been active
in the fight against racism and antisemitism for 30 years. He said that
antisemitism has exacerbated to a considerable degree in the last year-and-a-half.
Reference is, to a large extent to religious antisemitism and attacks by
Muslims against Jews has been supported by both the radical right and the
radical left. In the Arab world, Israelis are compared to Nazis, and attacks
against Israel fequently turn antisemitic. He also mentioned the insulting
remarks against Israel by the French Ambassador in London. Antisemitism
must be taken very seriously, since the antisemites mean every word they
say. Mr. Ahlmark said that Durban, where an "ideological pogrom"
against the Jews and the State of Israel was planned, and the Western democracies
were indifferent and did not react. He went on to say that of the 47 Muslim
countries in the world, only one of them (Mali) is considered to be a "free
country". On the other hand, the rest of the 145 countries in the
world are free. Therefore, it is our duty to convince governments and public
opinion in the free world that action must be taken against the new antisemitism.
He summed up his address by saying that the old antisemitism wanted to
create a Jew-free (judenrein) world, while the new antisemitism wants to
create a world that is Jewish State-free (judenstadtrein).
- 3. Professor Erwin Kotler explained that the old antisemitism
wanted to prevent the Jews from enjoying equal rights in the world. The
new antisemitism wants to deprive the Jewish State of the right to enjoy
equal rights in the community of nations. Professor Kotler listed the symptoms
of the new antisemitism. "genocidal antisemitism - the public call
for the destruction of the State of Israel (Iran and the Hamas), political
antisemitism - the denial of the legitimacy of the State of Israel and
the Jewish people (UN resolutions). Professor Kotler emphasized that the
United Nations is an excellent case study of these attributes. Among other
things, he mentioned the special session called to discuss Israel's ostensible
violations of the Geneva Convention, the refusal to include it in regional
groups at the United Nations, and the like. He also mentioned economic
antisemitism (the Arab boycott), denial of the Holocaust, and terrorist
antisemitsm (attacks against Jews simply because they are Jews) as characterizing
the new antisemitism. Professor Kotler said that Israel is, of course,
not above the law, but it must not be denied equality before the law.
- Announcement of the Forum for Coordinating the Struggle
- Deputy Foreign Minister Rabbi Michael Melchior, expressed
his concern over the increasing antisemitism in France and in Belgium.
He stated that in the past 15 months, there have been almost 200 antisemitic
incidents in France. The situation is serious in Belgium, as well. The
Chief Rabbi has recently been attacked, and antisemitic articles have appeared
in the press. The Deputy Minister heads "The Forum for the Coordination
of the Struggle Against Antisemitism", which comprises government,
state and academic elements as well as representatives of the Jewish organizations
throughout the world. The announcement was published at the end of a special
meeting of the response team, which works alongside the Forum, to discuss
antisemitism in France and Belgium. The situation in those countries has
seriously exacerbated since the beginning of the present "Intifadeh",
and most of the attacks are perpetrated are by radical Islamic elements.
Despite this, neither the French nor the Belgian Governments has taken
any proper action, and they tend to play down the severity and scope of
- Rabbi Melchior, in his capacity as Chairman of the "Forum
for Coordinating the Struggle Against Antisemitism", called on the
leaders of France and Belgium to take all the necessary police and legal
action, as well as steps in the sphere of information, in order to put
an end to all the serious antisemitic activities in their respective countries.
He also called on all enlightened people in the world to join the struggle
against antisemitism. Rabbi Melchior went on to say that today we are witness
to a "new campaign of antisemitism" which combines classical
antisemitism and Bin Laden's radical Islam.
- On the Deputy Foreign Minister's initiative, an "International
Forum for the Struggle Against Antisemitism" is being formed. Among
those in this Forum are such prominent world personalities as the former
Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden Per Ahlmark and Professor Irwin Kotler,
a member of the Canadian Parliament.
- Announcement by the Forum of 18 November 2001
- Deputy Foreign Minister Rabbi Michael Melchior defined
the broadcast of the "satirical" program over Abh-Dhabi television
in which Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is shown drinking the blood
of Palestinian children, as a throw-back to the darkest days of the antisemitic
blood libels that have plagued the Jewish people.
- Rabbi Melchior, who represents the Israeli Government
as the head of "The Coordinating Forum for Countering Antisemitism",
said that in each and every generation antisemitism tries to hide its ugly
face behind various disguises - and hatred to the State of Israel is its
current disguise. Rabbi Melchior stated further that hate against Israel
has crossed the red line, having gone from criticism to unbridled antisemitic
venom, which is a precise translation of classical antisemitism whose past
results are all too familiar to the entire world.
- The Deputy Foreign Minister expressed his revulsion at
this Abu-Dhabi television broadcast, warning of the dire results of this
kind of uncontrolled provocation. He emphasized that anyone in the world,
including in the Arab world, with a sense of decency should condemn this
kind of incitement and take steps to counteract it. "The Coordinating
Forum for Countering Antisemitism" is the Israeli Government's official
function charged with the fight against antisemitism.
- From Rixon
- I noticed that the article 'New Israeli Monitoring Group'
defined as 'anti-Semitic' the fact that the "second highest ranking
prelate in the Danish church devoted his Christmas sermon to the murder
of Palestinian children in Bethlehem."
- There's nothing wrong with that you might say. But the
new, Israeli government-sponsored, group considers it as 'Anti-Semitic.'
- Wow! That's like calling the jailing of a murderer an
infringement of his human rights. Or the donation of charity for Palestinian
children as aiding terrorism. After all, when they grow up they may become