Unfortunate details on anti-Semitic incidents were revealed last week in the Knesset Immigration Absorption and Diaspora Committee.
Committee head MK Avraham Naguisa (Likud) warned that ”In some countries in Europe and on campuses in the United States there has been a worrying rise in anti-Semitic occurrences and the delegitimization of Israel. The foundation of the delegitimization of Israel is anti-Semitism. There has been an increase in anti-Semitic incidents and incitement; we are full from declarations and promises from governments – they are obligated to take action.”
Naguisa congratulated Abe Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, for his actions in support of the Jewish nation over the last 50 years and for his upcoming retirement.
Speaker of the Knesset Yuli-Yoel Edelstein drew a direct line between anti-Semitism and the boycott on Israel. ”The citizens of western states need to be especially discerning, to distinguish between terrorist attacks on Jewish institutions and diplomatic attacks backed by blood libels. The basis of the comparison between the IDF to Hamas is outrageous, and the UN report ignores the moral differences between our army and a terror organization.”
Professor Gustavo Frederick, who lectures on anti-Semitism at universities in South America alleged that ”We are not talking about anti-Semitism, but rather Judeophobia, and its source is in the demonization of Israel. The governments that allege that they are fighting anti-Semitism are themselves participating in blood libels against Israel and you cannot separate between the matters. A recent study that was done revealed that close to 150 million Europeans believe today that Israel is an apartheid state that acts using Nazi methodology.”
German Deputy Ambassador Monica Leverson admitted that anti-Semitic incidents increased by 25% in Germany ”and the matter particularly hurts us. We are working with the police and the army in order to suppress anti-Semitic expressions, to actively defend Jewish institutions and to prevent anti-Semitic incitement through learning about the Holocaust and respecting others. The German government is strongly committed to the peace of the Jewish nation and the security of the State of Israel.”
US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Bill Grant admitted that ”In 2013, more than 50% of hate crimes were directed against Jews, but we are trying to struggle against it when criticism turns into delegitimization through intelligence service activities and law enforcement agencies, which are attentive and searching for hate crimes.”
British Deputy Ambassador Rob Dixon said that ”The number of anti-Semitic instances has increased in the last two years and we are determined to fight it. The Jewish community in our country is an inseparable part of British society and we are committed to their lives. There have been declarations by British leaders regarding how unacceptable anti-Semitism is; we have approved serious legislation against such revelations and we have established strong cooperation with the Jewish institutions and communities in Britain through an investment of 13 million pounds for the security of the institutions. There is no boycott against Israel in any British university and the scientific and trade cooperation with Israel is growing.”
Dutch Ambassador Caspar Veldkamp promised that his government opposes the boycott against Israel, and European Union Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen alleged that ”The EU rejects any discovery of xenophobia and racism in all its forms and anti-Semitism in general. Unfortunately, anti-Semitism continues to raise its head in different ways. We are committed to fighting these incidents through legislation and budgeting. We prevented the flow of money to terror organizations, but I want to distinguish between anti-Semitism, which is deplorable and unacceptable in any form, and legitimate criticism against the policies of Israel.”
Gilles Pecassou, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of France, said his country was ”proud to have the third largest Jewish community, which is also one of the most ancient in the world. It is important to fight anti-Semitism, and we are dealing with this extensively –on both a national and local level – and we are also fighting anti-Semitic incitement on the Internet.”
Gideon Behar. Director of the Foreign Ministry`s Department for Combating Antisemitism said anti-Semitism is most prevalent in democratic countries. ”Declarations regarding the fight against anti-Semitism are important, but the situation will not change without action from the governments. We have reached the moment of truth, and we must act in a practical manner, because the Jewish communities in Europe are losing faith in the governments of the countries in which they reside,” he said.
MK Anat Berko (Likud) warned the ambassadors that ”If you don`t stand by our side in the fight against terror, it will also reach you.” MK Yoel Razvozov (Yesh Atid) emphasized that Israel is using Iron Dome to protect its citizens while Hamas is using its citizens to protect their missile systems.
Abe Foxman said that ”All supporters of Israel experience every day delegitimization attacks on the state; in fact, Israel has been dealing with attempts to destroy it and to destroy its right to exist from the day it was born. What is concerning is the spread of the incidents to 25 universities in the United States, the support of protestant churches of the boycott and the Obama administration`s threat not to continue to support Israel. The opposition to Israel is becoming more and more popular, and the silent majority has become increasingly silent.”
MK Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Camp) said that as a television reporter she covered the situation in Gaza and revealed how residents of Gaza requested that Hamas remove the missiles from around their houses, but they were ignored. MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) added that ”The UN report is false and distorted and this organization, rather than protecting vulnerable populations, is protected terrorism and the evil in the world.”
NGO Monitor President Gerald Steinberg warned that the UN report adds to the anti-Semitic atmosphere ”without allowing the Jewish nation to defend itself.” He said human rights groups such as B`Tselem and Amnesty played a part in drafting the report, ”and the funding for these organizations comes from European countries.”
Ido Daniel, of the Israeli Students Combating Antisemitism organization, said that in 2014 alone some 16,000 complaints were filed over anti-Semitic incitement on the social networks.