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Monday, August 04, 2003

Israel's minister of Diaspora Affairs and Jerusalem, Natan Sharansky, recently convened a global forum on behalf of the State of Israel to address the dangers posed by the "recent explosion of antisemitism across the world." Sharansky writes in the Jerusalem Post:
The extent to which anti-Semitism has returned was on display two years ago in Durban, South Africa. What was billed as an international conference against racism became a veritable carnival of hatred against Jews. Under a false banner of human rights the legitimacy of Israel was subjected to an unprecedented assault. At Durban it became painfully clear that the attempt to deny Jews their legitimate rights as individuals had been replaced by a systematic effort to deny the Jews their legitimate rights as a nation. What had always been a specious distinction between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism was exposed once and for all.

NOW THE State of Israel has decided to take the gloves off. An anti- Semitic disease that has spread like wildfire across the globe demands a global response. I feel privileged, as the minister of diaspora affairs, to have been given responsibility by my government for addressing this pressing issue.

I firmly believe that Israel must play a leading role in the battle against anti-Semitism, but I also know that we cannot win that battle alone. I was extremely pleased by the response from many of the leading forces in the struggle against anti-Semitism to my recent invitation to establish a forum that would begin implementing a coordinated counteroffensive.

Participants from abroad included the heads of organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the World Jewish Congress, and Jewish leaders from the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Russia, Australia and elsewhere, as well as individuals who have devoted much of their time and energy to fighting anti-Semitism. Israeli participants represented an equally impressive array of individuals and organizations who have been at the forefront of this important struggle.

We all understand that if we hope to defend Jews effectively against anti-Semitism we must show that we are more committed to our mission than our enemies are to theirs. . .
The entire essay, at JPost.