Combatting antisemitism and BDS

June 21, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin has spoken at the International Conference on Combating Antisemitism and the BDS Campaign held by the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

President Rivlin in a selfie with delegates Photo: Haim Zach (GPO)

Minister of Strategic Affairs and Homeland Security Gilad Erdan and US Special Envoy to Monitor an Combat Anti-Semitism Elon Carr are also participating in the conference.

Some 350 participants from 30 countries are participating in the conference which aims to confront the BDS campaign, the resurgence of antisemitism and the delegitimisation of Israel. As part of the campaign against the delegitimization of the State of Israel, the Global Coalition for Israel (GC4I) was established in 2010. This is a network of about 150 presidents, chairpersons and CEOs of the most significant pro-Israel organizations around the world, Jewish and non-Jewish.

At the beginning of his remarks, the president thanked the conference participants for telling Israel’s true story and for their cooperation in opposing BDS, saying “BDS does not seek peace, or even to help our Palestinian neighbours. It seeks to delegitimize Israel’s very existence. We must use all the tools at our disposal to defeat BDS – in the courtroom, in the board room, in civil society, in social media, in academia and in the halls of power. We must expose the modern blood libels spread by BDS and put a price on its hate and discrimination.”

“The State of Israel has no problem with legitimate criticism – criticism that flows from a true concern for Israel’s security and welfare, especially when this criticism comes from our sisters and brothers in the diaspora. I believe that the Government of Israel must do a better job of listening to your concerns. Honest criticism? Friendly criticism?  Yes! Delegitimize Israel? No!,” continued the president.

The president also stressed that “today, especially, we must stand together against the growing threat of antisemitism, whether from the left, the right or radical Islam. Too often, the left tries to hide its antisemitism in the disguise of anti-Zionism. They try to present their campaign to boycott Israel as “progressive”. There is nothing progressive about hate. There is nothing progressive about antisemitism. At the same time, we must show zero tolerance for antisemitism on the right, even when it comes from those who claim to admire Israel.”

The president concluded his remarks by saying, “I am confident that we can defeat those who seek to undermine our Jewish and democratic homeland, and build a thriving future for Israel and the Jewish people.”

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