Sunday, 19 November 2017

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'A fight for us all'

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (on monitors) addresses the General Assembly meeting on the rise in anti-Semitic violence via video, 2015. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

7 September 2016 – “A United Nations that wants to be true to its founding aims and ideals has a duty to speak out against anti-Semitism.”- Ban Ki-moon

Anti-Semitism is one of the oldest forms of discrimination. Concerns grew in 2015 as anti-Semitic violence was on the rise worldwide, and particularly in Europe. The United Nations held a conference on combatting anti-Semitism on 22 January, 2015, where a number of significant speakers spoke out to come together to put a stop to anti-Semitism hate crimes. “Anti-Semitism was thriving in European capitals and was present in countries where Jews had never lived.  Even if Israel’s conduct was exemplary and the Palestinians were granted an independent State, as was their right, such enmity and hatred would not dissipate”, French philosopher and writer Bernard-Henri Lévy said in a keynote address at the General Assembly in 2015.

Thomas Mayr-Harting, Head of the European Union Delegation, said “the world community needed to find ways to tackle growing online hate speech while being vigilant to safeguard the freedom of expression, including the right to criticize religions and all other institutions.” Concluding, “We need to remain united and react in a calm but firm manner to combat anti-Semitism and any other form of racism and xenophobia and related intolerance.”

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Anti-Semitism protests. Photo: Michael Summers, 2014

On 7 September 2016, the Missions of Canada, Israel, the United States, and Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, will jointly host a full day forum on global anti-Semitism. Four separate interactive panels will consider different factors related to anti-Semitism around the world, including: government responses to counter anti-Semitism, social media and the Internet, civil society coalitions, and youth and education. Panelists will include government, civil society, and private sector representatives, who will assess the scope of rising anti-Semitism worldwide, compare government and private sector responses, share best practices, and provide concrete recommendations for combatting anti-Semitism globally in these four areas.

Reducing inequalities is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, regarding sex, race, ethnicity and religion within and among countries. 

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