In honor of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which will be held at the end of this month, more than a thousand high school students from all across the country and the Haifa region, in particular, gathered today, Monday, for a conference dealing with the "global plague of antisemitism." The conference was simultaneously translated into English, Arabic, and Russian allowing all students across the country to participate.
The virtual conference was led by the Center for Jewish Impact, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education - Director of Society and Youth, the Haifa District Student and Youth Council, the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement, Brave Together, and other distinguished partners. The conference hosted a number of distinguished speakers including Dani Dayan Chairman of the Yad Vashem, Special Envoy of the Government of Canada for Holocaust Remembrance and the Fight Against Antisemitism, Prof. Irwin Cotler, Executive Director of CRIF, Robert Ejnes, Director of the Department of Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Conservation at the State Department, Ruth Cohen-Dar, Robert Singer, Chairman of the Center for Jewish Impact and Sacha Roytman, Director of the Combat Anti-Semitism movement, and others.
Danny Dayan, Chairman of Yad Vashem: "Our job as a state is to demand that world leaders act immediately, forcefully, and vigorously against any manifestation of antisemitism. We know from historical experiences the extent to which monstrous antisemitism can develop. World leaders must take responsibility for antisemitic incidents that occur in their country and act to eradicate them in order to give their Jewish communities the security they deserve."
His remarks were reinforced by the Special Envoy of the Government of Canada for the Preservation of the Holocaust and the Fight Against Anti-Semitism, Prof. Irwin Cotler: "The State of Israel cannot fight the phenomenon of antisemitism by itself. We need to work and build a strong united coalition between all nations in the world so together they can lead a movement that will counter the phenomenon of anti-Semitism, that is spreading daily throughout every region of the world."
Robert Singer, Chairman of the Center for Jewish Impact, added: "Recent polls show a record number of antisemitic incidents against Jews in Britain, with France being the pinnacle of virtual anti-Semitism, 44% of European Jews testifying to having experienced anti-Semitism and one in four Jews in the US have been targeted by antisemitic incidents. Seeing as that the issue of antisemitism is a global problem operating in the public sphere, threatening Jewish communities worldwide, the importance of a conference of young leaders is greater than ever; since the upcoming generation must be involved in the struggle outside of Israel to eradicate this global phenomenon."
Robert Ejnes, Executive Director of CRIF noted: "Despite all the publicity on anti-Semitism towards Jews in French society, the Jewish community in France lives well thanks to the work of the vast majority of French political and intellectual forces fighting against anti-Semitism. Thanks to the French legal system there are many laws that fight antisemitism."
Dr. Saar Harel, Haifa District Director of the Ministry of Education: "International Holocaust Remembrance Day brings to the agenda the discourse on human rights, children's rights, the fight against racism and antisemitism. The education system is the place where this conversation can be held, and relevance to our everyday actions, and to shape the collective memory that will remain with us throughout the future." Omri Afek, Haifa District Student and Youth Council Chairman: "The role of the youth in Israel is to take part and assist in the fight against the phenomenon of anti-Semitism wherever it sows destruction and hatred towards the Jewish community in the world. We see this struggle as the responsibility of all of us, particularly the youth, to lead the struggle and discourse on this issue."