Jewish unity key in fight against anti-Semitism

September 12, 2017 Agencies
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World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder has told the WJC’s Executive Committee meeting in London that the primary goal of the international body in coming years must be to increase Jewish unity, as part of the overall efforts to ensure the security and identity of Jewish communities in the face of rising anti-Semitism.

 

Israel Ambassador to UK Mark Regev, WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, Board of Deputies Chief Executive Gillian Merron, and Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush.   Photo:  Shahar Azran

“Anti-Semitism is growing across the globe and is targeting all Jews, whether Orthodox or Reform, Left or Right,” Lauder said. “The most important goal facing the WJC today in our daily and global struggle against anti-Semitism is mending the divisive rifts and building Jewish unity – between all organizations, and regardless of religious denominations or political affiliations.”

The Executive Committee was gathered for its annual meeting this week in London, aimed at setting the WJC’s agenda for the coming year, including policy resolutions on behalf of the 100 Jewish communities worldwide represented by the organization.

In welcoming the committee members, Governing Board Chairman David de Rothschild noted the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. He also drew attention to the fact that this year’s opening section was taking place in the very same hall as the inaugural reception of the first session of the United Nations General Assembly in January 1946.

Within the framework of the annual meeting, Britain’s House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, told members of the WJC’s Executive Committee that threats against the Jewish community in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the World at large must not be met with complacency.

“There are still people denying the Holocaust or alternatively glorying in it and holding up Adolf Hitler as being a great figure in our history,” Bercow said. “So we should not be paranoid but equally we should not be complacent. There is a threat to Jewish people and to Jewish security in this country and indeed in Europe and around the world.”

“The importance of Jewish history, of Jewish culture, Jewish identity and indeed of Jewish security both physical and political can scarcely be overstated.

“The work you do is of an importance that cannot be exaggerated. I want you to know you have friends in Parliament here, and you certainly have a friend in this Speaker,” Bercow said, adding praise for the WJC’s work in “fighting for the rights of Jews and Jewish communities across the world”.

The Executive Committee is being hosted in London this week by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, under the leadership of BoD President Jonathan Arkush.

WJC Governing Board Chairman David de Rothschild, WJC Treasurer Chella Safra, WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, EuroAsian Jewish Congress President Michael Mirilashvili, and Chairman of WJC-Israel Gad Ariely. Photo: Shahar Azran.

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