75% of violent attacks go unreported –WZO
EITAN ORI BEHAR
“Enough of anti-Semitic Violence!”
75 percent of Jews who are victims of anti-Semitic violence do not report these acts to the authorities out of a deep concern for their lives! This dramatic announcement opened The World Conference on Countering anti-Semitism in Brussels last month.
Dozens of Jewish leaders strongly called out to the European Union and world governments, “Enough of anti-Semitic Violence! Increase legislation to combat anti-Semitism!”
RIGHT: A heavily manned and armed Belgian police escort as well as Israeli security personnel accompanied delegates to all outside venues, where some roads were even closed, and at the hotel where delegates were staying – Picture ANT KATZ, SA JEWISH REPORT
100 leaders from 20 countries
The World Conference on Countering Anti-Semitism was held in Brussels, Belgium, with the participation of more than one hundred Jewish leaders from twenty different countries around the world. The event was initiated by the Department for Countering Anti-Semitism of the World Zionist Organization.
The unique conference resulted in a deep formation between various representatives from around the world who decided to continue to raise awareness and create a joint forum that will share information about anti-Semitic incidents with other members, combat anti-Semitism on the Internet, and influence legislation and demand enforcement from the government.
The conference also took place on the same day that the French government issued a warning that there is indeed a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents occurring in France. The conference started with a visit to the European Parliament, known as the source of discussions, decisions, and reviews of the policies of Israel, which are, in most cases, unilateral and unfair.
The European Parliament is also responsible for the safety of European Jews who are suffering from a wave of anti-Semitism that is as bad, some would say, as the times of World War II.
LEFT: Alex Benjamin, CEO of European Friends of Israel briefs delegates at the EFI offices
The WZO delegation were also briefed by Elise Coolegem, the advisor of the pro-Israel member of the European Parliament, Bastian Belder.
Yaakov Hagoel, head of the Department for Countering Anti-Semitism of the World Zionist Organization also addressed the delegates.
RIGHT: Yaakov Hagoel & Eitan Behar, the WZO’s Director, International Centre for Countering Anti-Semitism
“In the last decade, there have been more cases of violent anti-Semitic incidences worldwide and in Brussels in particular,” declared Hagoel.
“I call on the EU to promote legislation against anti-Semitism at the European Commission and for it to be implemented in all 28 EU countries, as they are doing in France.
“We say enough violence, enough of anti-Semitism!” he said roundly.
Wreath-laying at the museum
In a very emotional ceremony, we visited the Jewish Museum of Belgium. We laid down wreathes and recited Kaddish in the memory of those who were murdered in an anti-Semitic attack in May 2014. We followed with the singing of the Hatikva.
RIGHT: A sombre Yaakov Hagoel at the wreath-laying ceremony
One of the most emotional moments that took place at the conference was when the participants went, waving Israeli flags, to the entrance to the Jewish Museum, where a few short months ago four people were killed because of suspicion that they were Jews.
Yaakov Hagoel and president of the Jewish National Fund in France, Raymond Bunan, laid a wreath on the monument in memory of the victims.
Jacky Benzennou, president of the Zionist Federation, also laid a wreath, as did Betty Dan of JNF Belgium on behalf of the Federation in Belgium. After reciting the Kaddish prayer for the victims, participants broke into song, singing Israel’s national anthem, “Hatikvah” and also “Am Yisrael Chai”, which were heard far and wide.
Lectures, panels and discussions
During the conference, participants were exposed to information, analysis and guidance from the best lecturers in the field, including Baron Julien Klener, head of the Consistoire of Belgium; Dr. Guy Millière, senior lecturer at the University of Paris; Sammy Ghozlan – Director of the Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism in France, as well as other experts.
Discussions held at the conference opened with a review of trends in anti-Semitism made by Yaakov Hagoel: “We have witnessed a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents around the world. With us, are representatives from over 20 countries around the world who came all the way to Brussels in order to say, ‘Enough!’ There is no magic solution to anti-Semitism, but first and foremost we must, as Jews, be proud and keep our heads up.
At the same time, Hagoel said, “the full responsibility for the eradication of anti-Semitism primarily rests on the governments and they must protect their Jewish residents.”
Abraham Guigui, Chief Rabbi of Belgium, introduced the participants to the complexities of living a Jewish life in the shadow of anti-Semitism in Europe, particularly in Belgium.
LEFT: Report violent anti-Semitic incidents by clicking on this graphic
Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) demonstrated to the participants on the nature of the lives of American Jewish students: “University professors degrade Jews, participate in rallies, and call for their students to boycott Jewish and Israeli products. This is the United States of 2014.”
The conference concluded with a joint decision to continue to work together to eradicate the disease of anti-Semitism. The conference was planned and organized by Mr. Simcha Felber, WZO representative to France, Myriam Bellaiche, Eyal Atias, Eitan Behar and Yaakov Aharoni.
- Eitan Ori Behar is the Director of the International Centre for Countering Anti-Semitism, a division of the World Zionist Organisation
WZO Conference reads on SAJR.CO.ZA
05 Jan: 75% OF VIOLENT ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACKS GO UNREPORTED –WZO
EITAN BEHAR “Enough of anti-Semitic Violence! Increase legislation to combat anti-Semitism!”
31 Dec: ANTI-SEMITISM REARED ITS HEAD OPENLY IN 2014
ANT KATZ publishes details of hundreds of violent anti-Semitic attacks worldwide in 2014
23 Dec: BATTLEGROUND BELGIUM – HOTBED OF ANTI-SEMITISM
ANT KATZ details how over a million Euro-Jews are sitting on their shpielkes, and why
17 Dec: GERMAN JEWRY IS “SITTING ON THEIR SUITCASES”
GABRIEL GOLDBERG of German Fed – on how it feels like to be a Jew in Europe in 2014
17 Dec: DANGEROUS BUT WONDERFUL THING TO BE JEWISH
BARON KLENER, Survivor& head of Belgian Jewry, tells how tough it is on European Jews
10 Dec: EUROPEAN ANTI-SEMITISM HEADING BACK TO 30’S
Introduction to series on December conference of WZO attended & written by ANT KATZ