During Tuesday`s special session of the Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs dedicated to anti-Semitism and the delegitimization of Israel, it was revealed that 74 percent of Jews who suffered from anti-Semitic attacks do not report them.
”The intensifying anti-Semitism in the world endangers the State of Israel, because a global anti-Semitic front threatens Israel`s existence,” said Committee Chairman MK Avraham Naguisa (Likud). ”Hatred of Israel is a modern expression of the old anti-Semitism.”
Naguisa mentioned that in 2014 some 16,000 complaints were filed regarding anti-Semitic calls in the social networks, and added that the constant activity of non-governmental organizations, such as BDS, undermine Israel`s legitimacy and call for boycotts against it.
Yogev Karasenty, Director for Combatting Anti-Semitism at the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, noted that 74% of Jews who were harmed in violent anti-Semitic incidents did not report them. ”Jews around the world continue to behave like Jews in exile, and we must hold our heads high and preserve Jewish pride,” he said.
According to MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid), the government has no strategy to deal with the delegitimization of Israel, and she called for all the political parties to join the fight against the phenomenon.
MK Anat Berko (Likud) said: ”There is no academic freedom in the western world. Thugs threaten students and lecturers and do not allow the pro-Israel voice to be heard.”
Charles Small, founder and Director of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) said, ”Follow the money. We’re finding very strong and clear links between nefarious sources, even funders with connections to terror, funding some of the most eminent universities in the world.”
Jewish professor Irwin Cotler, Canada’s former justice minister and attorney general, explained that the world is witnessing a ”new, escalating, global, sophisticated, virulent and even lethal anti-Semitism.” Nazi anti-Semitism, he explained, attacked the rights of Jews, while the new anti-Semitism is ”discrimination against, denial of, assault upon the right of Israel and the Jewish people to live as an equal member of the family of nations, in fact the right even to live, with Israel emerging as the collective Jew among the nations – the targeted collective Jew among the nations.”
Cotler further told the committee that evidence of this new anti-Semitism could be found in the tendency to deny Israel’s right to exist and to single it out as the ”embodiment of all evil.”
Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said the State of Israel ”is a domain of human rights and morality, alone in the Middle East, and it is being accused of trampling human rights and immorality.” The former Prisoner of Zion charged that Breaking the Silence ”is not a human rights organization but a BDS organization.”
Gideon Behar, director of the department for combating anti-Semitism at the Foreign Ministry, told the committee that the anti-Jewish sentiments had taken a particular turn for the worse in Europe, as shown by recent statistics.
”Our expectation is that because of demographic changes in Europe and the resulting strengthening of the extreme right, things are bound to get worse for Jews there,” he warned.
Behar noted that in the first six months of 2015, anti-Semitic incidents in France increased by 84 percent, compared with the same period last year. In Britain, the increase was 53 percent. ”What we are seeing as a result is growing fear among Jews in these countries, greater numbers of Jews moving, assimilation that takes the form of Jews taking off their kippahs and removing other signs of their Jewishness, and a self-ghettoization, with more and more Jewish communities living behind walls and armed guards,” he said.
French MP Meir Haviv said the law in his country forbids boycotts, yet boycotts against Israeli companies still exist and, according to him, the French government is not doing anything to prevent it. Attorney Calev Myers of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice suggested moving to an ”attack strategy,” because ”if we only respond and defend the country, we will not win.” He mentioned that his organization distributes reports on human rights violations by the Palestinian Authority to campuses, international organizations and parliaments worldwide.
Towards the end of the session, MK Naguisa called on the government to establish a body that will coordinate the efforts of all the ministries and organizations that are involved in the fight against anti-Semitism.