The two-day conference, to be held at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, will open on Sunday, February 24, 2008.
Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni and Minister for Diaspora Affairs and for Combating Antisemitism Isaac Herzog will open the Annual International Conference of Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism on Sunday, 24 February 2008.
The delegates will discuss ways of combating the different forms and manifestations of antisemitism at the two-day conference, which will be held in Jerusalem. The delegates will also present unique projects and models for combating the global challenge of Antisemitism that have been implemented in various countries worldwide.
The conference will be attended by a record number of over 300 high-ranking delegates from over 45 countries, among them parliamentarians, judges and legal experts, ambassadors and diplomats, academics, heads of NGOs, and leaders of Jewish organizations and communities.
Some of the distinguished delegates include:
- Dr. Zoltan Lomnici – President of the Supreme Court of Hungary
- Petra Pau – Vice-President of the German Bundestag
- Prof. Gert Weisskirchen – Member of Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag) and Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE on Combating Antisemitism
- Prof. Irwin Cotler, PC, OC – Member of Parliament, Labor Party of Canada and former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
- John Mann – Member of Parliament for Bassetlaw and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism
- Gregg Rickman – Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, U.S. State Department
- Maqsood Ahmed – Senior Adviser on Muslim Communities, Preventing Extremism Unit for Communities and Local Government
Several parliamentarians and heads of NGOs will express their governments’ and organizations’ commitment to combating antisemitism, and their continued cooperation with the government of Israel within the framework of the Global Forum.
Welcoming message from the Co-Chairs of the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Minister for Diaspora Affairs and for Combating Antisemitism, Isaac Herzog:
Welcome to the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism. We are proud to host you here in Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel, as we mark our 60th anniversary of independence.
This conference takes place at a time of great significance. Concerned observers everywhere see that antisemitism and its attendant maladies have become a global phenomenon, ready to spread their toxic fumes at any given moment. While antisemitism has taken many different forms in the course of its long history, it found ultimate expression with the extermination of European Jewry in the Holocaust. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry for Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism have joined forces in order to fight antisemitism in its newest manifestations, in the guise of anti-Zionist and anti-Israel standpoints.
The Jewish people and the State of Israel, which was established as its national home, stand at the forefront of this battle. Yet responsibility lies with the political and religious leadership of every country in which antisemitism appears.
Antisemitism, racism and xenophobia are issues with which the countries of the free world must deal and which they must place high on the international agenda. We recognize and welcome the many leaders who have come to our side in order to change the situation and who have shown great sensitivity to concerns within the Jewish world.
The participation of such a diverse group at this Global Forum is testimony to the commitment of many governments and organizations and their resolve to eradicate antisemitism through the appropriate tools and action plans. The progress we have seen in recent years within many governments, and the willingness to give prominence to antisemitism in public discourse, we believe, represent important steps in creating a society that is more tolerant, just and value-oriented. In our opinion, the solution lies within three central themes: education, legislation and enforcement.
In taking a strong stand against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, we form a common front against the threats wrought by ignorance, fundamentalist extremism and against the xenophobic regimes in countries which support terrorism – threats which target the free world in general and the Jewish people in particular.
We must also take a strong stand against legitimizing UN-member states or leaders so long as they deny Israel’s right to exist while also promoting denial of the Holocaust. Granting any kind of legitimacy works against everything this conference stands for.
We call upon you, as participants in this conference and as representatives of the free world, to lead a joint initiative to establish an international body uniting governments, leaders and representatives of the global community – to come together in the fight against antisemitism along with racism and xenophobia, through making use of all available means.
The Government of Israel will continue its role as a leading force in these matters. We will do this in cooperation and coordination with all other states and organizations which share the same goals and which are willing to take part in this global effort.
With sincere wishes for a productive conference,
The Co-Chairs of the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism
Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister for Diaspora Affairs and for Combating Antisemitism