At the successful conclusion of the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism annual conference, the delegates proposed establishing an international coalition to continue the fight against antisemitism.

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

At the end of the annual conference of the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism, which was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 24-25 February 2008, two delegates announced their intention to establish an international coalition for combating antisemitism. The announcement, made by Irwin Cotler, Canadian MP and former Minister of Justice, and John Mann, British MP, won the support of the conference’s co-chairs, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni and Minister Isaac Herzog, who is also Minister of Diaspora Affairs and the Fight Against Antisemitism.

MP Mann mentioned that the government of Britain proposes to host next year’s conference of the Forum in London. 

Delegates from the 40 states that participated in the conference expressed support for the idea of establishing an international coalition for combating antisemitism and the desire to be a part of it. Many delegates also commended the Foreign Ministry; the Antisemitism and Holocaust Remembrance Department and Minister Herzog for the impressive and important conference that instilled in many of them a sense of commitment and momentum that they will take with them to their own countries.

FM Livni, in her opening address, said that Israel views the fight against antisemitism as a central part of its foreign policy and expressed the hope that more states will treat the subject with the same degree of urgency, placing the fight against antisemitism at the top of their priorities.

Minister Herzog stressed that the importance of the conference was in the formation of a front consisting of governments, judicial systems, international organizations, public opinion shapers, academic leaders and experts who joined forces to combat antisemitism in every place in which it rears its ugly head.  "The situation is complex, the challenges are enormous, and I am sure we can meet them," said Minister Herzog.

The director of the Antisemitism and Holocaust Remembrance Department at the Foreign Ministry, Aviva Raz-Shechter, said at the end of the conference that the feeling among the participants was that the objectives of the conference had been achieved. "We turned the conference into a global forum in which Jews and non-Jews alike share a commitment to combat antisesmitism." Raz-Shechter added that the announcement about establishing an international coalition and the proposal to host the Forum in Britain reflect the success of the conference.