European Jewish Congress
EJC Holds Joint Press Conference with ADL in New York City
Combating anti-Semitism
EJC Holds Joint Press Conference with ADL in New York City

Dr Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress (EJC), hold a joint press conference with Mr Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), last week, at the centennial organization headquarters in New York City.

The press conference came along with the release of the 2016 Worldwide Antisemitism Report by the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University and the ADL Annual Audit on Antisemitic Incidents 2016.

Dr Moshe Kantor opened the press conference by evoking the data showing a global decrease in violent antisemitic attack but with the unfortunate continuation of the widespread increase in verbal and visual Antisemitism on social media and during political demonstrations. As the internet constitutes originally a virtual reality, but has become today's reality and the main platform for the distribution of bigotry and hate, in abusive unleashed language, the leaders of the two prominent Jewish organizations raised the common concern on how to address this particular phenomenon. Dr Kantor also advocated for the need of a global adoption of the working definition on Antisemitism, saying that “a Working Definition on Antisemitism will help to combat  Antisemitism as it will also allow professionals from law enforcement agencies and the judiciary to better understand what antisemitism is and how to effectively fight it.” Two other conclusions of the report and also mentioned by Dr. Kantor were the role played by the improvement of security of Jewish communities and institutions that caused the drop of violent antisemitic attacks. Another important conclusion was the important role played by both the far-right and the far-left movements in the antisemitic spread in Europe and in the US. 

Mr Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director, emphasized the rise in antisemitic incidents in the US with a specific acceleration in the past five months: “There has been a significant, sustained increase in antisemitic activity since the start of 2016 and what is most concerning is the fact that the numbers have accelerated over the past five months.” Mr Greenblatt also stressed “the need to have more leaders to speak out against this cancer of hate and more action at all levels to counter Antisemitism.” 

Mr. Jonathan Greenblatt stressed also the need to have more leaders speaking out against this particular form of hate and to push for more action at all levels to counter Antisemitism. Mr Greenblatt mentioned the “34 percent year-over-year increase in incidents – assaults, vandalism, and harassment — with a total of 1,266 acts targeting Jews and Jewish institutions.”

The joint press conference comes after the signature of the partnership between the EJC and the ADL in early 2016. The partnership has developed common programmes in different fields such as security and education. Eight European Jewish students are currently attending the EJC-ADL First Responders Programme in New York City and Washington DC. The programme intends to train together students from both sides of the Atlantic in gaining skills and knowledge to better respond against Antisemitism and anti-Israel bias. 

Tuesday, May 02, 2017
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