Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni has expressed Israel’s concern about the current wave of antisemitic attacks in various parts of the world.

 

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson)

Israel has embarked on a defensive campaign against Hamas, a terrorist organization which, on a daily basis, has launched rocket and mortar barrages, thus threatening the lives of Israel’s civilians – men, women, and children. Moreover, Hamas’ Charter and many declarations to this very day call for the destruction of Israel and, using antisemitic epithets, call for the annihilation of the Jewish people.

We have received with great concern and revulsion many reports of physical, moral, verbal and other manifestations of antisemitic attacks towards Jews and Israeli citizens in many parts of the world. Examples of these include physical assault, violence and abuse towards Jews, the desecration of cemeteries and synagogues, the use of antisemitic incitement in pro-Palestinian demonstrations, the writing of antisemitic graffiti on Jewish property, as well as cartoons, editorials and other press stories reminiscent of the kind that appeared in the media of certain countries during the darkest days of the early 20th century. Israel and the Jewish people are appalled at these expressions of incitement, hatred and blatant extremism.

The Government of Israel therefore calls upon the leaders of the world to condemn, suppress and curb any and all forms of such incitement and hate, and to further hold accountable those responsible for their actions. We know that there is a delicate balance in maintaining freedom of expression while preventing it from becoming hate speech or worse. Nonetheless, the dangers that lie within the Pandora’s box that appears to have been opened with this current wave of antisemitism are known too well to humanity, and we must all strive to prevent all forms of  incitement to hatred and discrimination, whoever the victim might be.

Israel will continue to defend the operation it has undertaken to defend the lives of its citizens from systematic and continuous terrorist attacks. Nevertheless, whatever one’s opinion may be of this operation, it should never be used to legitimize hate and antisemitic incitement.