Hagoel to Bennett: Recognize victims of antisemitic terrorists attacks in Diaspora

The head of the Jewish Agency wrote to Bennett, asking him to officially recognize the victims of antisemitic terrorist attacks around the world as Victims of Terrorism.

 YAAKOV HAGOEL, chairman, World Zionist Organization; acting chairman, The Jewish Agency Executive. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
YAAKOV HAGOEL, chairman, World Zionist Organization; acting chairman, The Jewish Agency Executive.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

On the eve of Remembrance Day, Yaakov Hagoel, the chairman of the World Zionist Organization and the acting chairman of the Jewish Agency, asked Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to officially recognize the victims of antisemitic terrorist attacks around the world as Victims of Terrorism and to commemorate them on Remembrance Day.

Following a recent antisemitism report, Hagoel wrote to the prime minister requesting recognition of the victims of antisemitic attacks in the Diaspora: "The State of Israel has not yet learned to recognize Jews abroad who were killed in terrorist attacks against them in an anti-Semitic context."

According to the Jewish Agency, some 200 Jews have been killed in antisemitic attacks around the world since the establishment of the State. Since the beginning of 2022, there has been a sharp increase of about 30% in antisemitic incidents in the Diaspora.

Ahead of Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel’s Wars and Victims of Terrorism, Hagoel submitted the appeal to Bennett for official recognition of antisemitic victims. This is based on a recent WZO report by the Department of Combating Anti-Semitism and Enhancing Resilience, which indicated a sharp increase in the number of antisemitic incidents counted since the beginning of 2022 compared to 2021

According to the report, from the beginning of 2022, 395 antisemitic incidents were recorded — about 100 more than the corresponding period in 2021 — as well as an increase in the number of incitement and conspiracy incidents, with 156 reported compared to 72 in the corresponding period in 2021.

New York City police officers block hassidic men from entering a synagogue, closed due to COVID-19, in Brooklyn, in March 2020. (credit: ANDREW KELLY / REUTERS)New York City police officers block hassidic men from entering a synagogue, closed due to COVID-19, in Brooklyn, in March 2020. (credit: ANDREW KELLY / REUTERS)

In addition, there was an increase in events and statements related to the delegitimization of Israel, which were counted for about 30 years, compared with only 9 in the corresponding period last year. During this period, there was also an increase in incidents of physical violence, with 47 incidents of violence against Jews being counted since the beginning of the year, compared with 31 in the corresponding period in 2021.

"On this day, the current sequence of life stops and Israel remembers its best sons and daughters who were murdered only because they were members of the Jewish people, but precisely on this day that symbolizes more than anything the unity of the Jewish people - the place of an integral part of our nation seems to be forgotten," Hagoel wrote. 

"These are our brothers and sisters with whom Jewry has been marching forever — and from time to time we also hear that our brethren overseas are the targets of terrorist organizations and antisemitic attacks around the world.

"This is a bloody connection screaming and clear - but despite this, the State of Israel has not yet learned to remember its people who were killed in anti-Semitic attacks in the Diaspora.

"On Memorial Day we remember only those who are citizens of Israel, but not those abroad who are also members of the Jewish people. Naturally, members of the families of those killed do not receive any assistance from the State of Israel nor are mentioned in ceremonies of the State of Israel. It is clear that full recognition also carries with it an economic burden - but this is our duty for our Jewish brethren."

Hagoel said he intends to continue to advance this process of recognition with all relevant parties in the State of Israel.

As every year, a memorial ceremony will be held on Wednesday in the plaza of the National Institutions in Jerusalem in memory of those who fell in Israel's wars and in memory of the Jews who were killed in terrorist attacks and antisemitism around the world.

The names of the victims killed since the establishment of the State are engraved on a memorial wall placed at the center of the ceremony. This year, the ceremony will be attended by bereaved families who were recently rescued from Ukraine, whose loved ones served as lone soldiers in the IDF and fell during their service. The bereaved families from Ukraine will light the memorial torch.