“Our commitment must be to remember the victims who perished, respect the survivors still with us, and reaffirm humanity's common aspiration for mutual understanding and justice.”
-- Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust
UNESCO and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) organized a roundtable in Paris on 6 December 2016 to examine current responses to prevent antisemitism amongst young people.
Despite efforts undertaken by governments, civil society organizations and international bodies in recent years to address the problem, Jews are still physically threatened and remain the object of prejudice in many societies. What are the contemporary manifestations of the “longest hatred”? Should there be specific responses to antisemitism distinct from policies targeting other forms of prejudice? Are measures already being implemented to respond to antisemitism impactful and efficient? What policies should be put in place to strengthen prevention though education, culture and communication?
The roundtable, introduced by former Minister of Justice and President of the Constitutional Court of France Robert Badinter, gathered distinguished international experts on the subject: Professor Steven Katz, Adviser to the IHRA and Professor of Jewish and Holocaust Studies at the University of Boston; Dina Porat, Chief Historian of Yad Vashem and professor at the Department of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University, Katharina von Schnurbein, European Union Coordinator on Combatting Antisemitism and Dervis Hizarci, Chair of the Kreuzberger Initiative gegen Antisemitismus. The round-table was moderator by Sandrine Treiner, Director of France Culture. A report of the discussions is available on the UNESCO website.
The IHRA was the first intergovernmental organization to adopt a “Working Definition of Antisemitism” to help its 31 Member Countries better monitor its manifestations. The definition will be presented during the roundtable to serve as a basis for discussion and provide clarity on the term ‘antisemitism’, with a view to strengthening Member States commitments to combat antisemitism and all forms of discriminations and intolerance.
Image: Working Defintion of Antisemitism is adopted by IHRA's 31 Member Countries at the IHRA Plenary Meetings in Bucharest, Romania on 26 May 2016.