First UN assembly on anti-Semitism to be held next week

By JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
January 14, 2015 07:15

36 countries set to participate in Israel-led session raising the issue of anti-Semitism.

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Security Council

A vote in the United Nations Security Council headquarters in New York. (photo credit:REUTERS)

NEW YORK – The UN General Assembly will hold its first-ever special meeting on “the global outbreak of anti-Semitism” on January 22.

Thirty-six countries in cooperation with the Israeli mission petitioned President of the General Assembly Sam Kutesa of Uganda to hold the session.

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Led by Israel, other signatories on the petition included the US, Canada, Australia and all members of the European Union.

“It is great that so many countries have partnered with Israel to raise this issue of anti-Semitism to the top of the UN’s agenda. We have a great deal of work to do to move this issue from the headlines to the history books,” Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor said.

A representative of Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon told reporters on Tuesday that either Ban or the deputy secretary-general will attend, “depending on availability.”

In addition to addresses by several heads of state, French philosopher and author Bernard-Henri Lévy will deliver a keynote address in the wake of the attacks on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and the hostage crisis at the kosher supermarket in Paris. In a column published in The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, Lévy expressed hope that the moderates in his country would take over, saying “France is no longer afraid.”

“All of Europe will no longer choose between the two versions of nihilism that are Islamism and populism,” he wrote. “And what is certain is that there will be further jihadist attacks, inevitably, but there will be fewer and fewer people who will whisper that we must keep a low profile and make accommodations – and... quick-fire responses, responses that confuse Muslims and jihadists, responses by those who would like to deport entire communities of Europeans, have for the moment been swept away by the force that has been created.”

President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder met with French President François Hollande, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris on Monday to discuss the situation in the Middle East and the Jews’ place in Europe, and announced that the WJC was considering re-opening its Paris office. “France is a major battleground in the fight to defend our Western values,” Lauder said.

Many American Jewish leaders have expressed similar shock and called for increased scrutiny into the security of European Jewish communities.

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