Response Team Disscusses Current Anti-Semitism Issues

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson)
December 19, 2001

On 19 December, the Response Team of the Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism convened to discuss the following current issues:

  • The Forum raised the issue of the ‘New Anti-Semitism’ – the connection between classical anti-Semitism and the anti-Semitism expressed by fundamentalist Islam, as espoused by Bin Laden.
  • The Forum discussed possible responses to the rising anti-Semitism in France and Belgium, and the worrying trends in Hungary.
  • The Response Team expressed its concern over the increasing anti-Semitism in France and Belgium, noting that in the last fifteen months, there have been almost 200 grave anti-Semitic incidents. Since the start of the present wave of Palestinian violence in Sept 2000, the situation has worsened in these countries, with most of the attacks being carried out by Islamic extremists. Nevertheless, the authorities are not responding in the appropriate manner, and show a tendency to minimize the gravity of this phenomenon and the magnitude of these incidents.

    Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, Rabbi Melchior, called on the French and Belgian leaders to use all possible means to stop these phenomena, and called on all enlightened people throughout the world to join the struggle against anti-Semitism.

    The establishment of the "Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism", was initiated by Deputy Foreign Minister Melchior, with the participation of distinguished personalities from around the world, including former Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, Per Ahlmark and Canadian Member of Parliament, Professor Irwin Cotler.