Conference of Presidents Heralds Key Developments in Fight Against Antisemitism

New York, NY

. . . Dianne Lob, Chair, William Daroff, CEO, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued the following statement:

“We applaud the numerous national and international bodies that, in the face of rising antisemitism around the globe, have stood up and demonstrated that combating Jew-hatred is among their top priorities. The unconscionable antisemitic vandalism of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum this week, which included Holocaust denial, painfully underscores the extreme urgency of this critical work.

Yesterday, the European Commission released the EU Strategy on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life. This strategy, which incorporates preventing antisemitism, fostering Jewish communities in Europe, and Holocaust education, can be a bold step forward in the fight against antisemitism. It clearly affirms the centrality of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism to the EU’s work and identifies Israel-related antisemitism as a major issue. It also supplies us with strategies that we can learn from here in the United States.

On Tuesday, the Organization of American States (OAS) appointed Fernando Lottenberg, a leading member of the Brazilian Jewish community, as the first Commissioner for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism. This position, which was announced by OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro at the AJC 2021 Global Forum, builds on the OAS adoption of the IHRA definition in 2019.

The French Senate, following the endorsements of President Emmanuel Macron and the Assemblée Nationale, adopted the IHRA Definition on Tuesday. In a country with the third-largest Jewish community in the world and an unfortunate history of antisemitic incidents, this adoption serves as an essential step toward safeguarding Jewish lives, protecting the community from bigotry, and forging a new future for the French Jewish community.

We welcome these important steps in the global fight against Jew-hatred. The continuous reaffirmation of the IHRA definition as an essential part of efforts to combat antisemitism demonstrates the international consensus around the definition. IHRA unites liberal and conservative governments, universities, NGOs, cities, towns, and sports teams in the belief that one must define antisemitism to effectively combat it. We are encouraged to hear about these efforts across the world and hope that they signal that there is broad consensus in support of the IHRA definition and importance of its use.”

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The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 50 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern

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