Pope Francis condemns resurgence of antisemitism around the world

"Once more, I firmly condemn every form of antisemitism," said Pope Francis at an event held by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Simon Wiesenthal Center delegation on eve of 75th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation with Pope Francis (photo credit: SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTRE)
Simon Wiesenthal Center delegation on eve of 75th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation with Pope Francis
VATICAN CITY - During an event held by the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Monday, a day before the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Pope Francis condemned the "barbaric resurgence" of antisemitism around the world.
"I will never tire of firmly condemning every form of antisemitism," he added.
"It is troubling to see, in many parts of the world, an increase in selfishness and indifference, lack of concern for others and the attitude that says life is good as long as it is good for me, and when things go wrong, anger and malice are unleashed," Francis said.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and dounder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, also expressed his concerns on the surging antisemitism around the world: "Sadly, our visit today comes at a time when anti-Semitism and bigotry have again taken center stage threatening our world and the future of humankind.
"That is our dilemma, here we are in 2020 - antisemitism and bigotry are present everywhere," Heir continued. "In the heart of our democracies in London, Paris, in Berlin, in the Parliaments, and here in Rome where an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor needs police protection to go shopping." 
Last month in eastern France, scores of Jewish graves were found desecrated in a cemetery, hours before lawmakers adopted a resolution equating anti-Zionism with antisemitism. France has Europe’s biggest Jewish community - around 550,000 - and antisemitic attacks are common, with more than 500 alone in 2018.
"This hate has now crossed the Atlantic and infected America’s cities, and her prestigious learning centers…even in the halls of Congress and the United Nations," continued Rabbi Hier. "Worse, reminiscent of the Holocaust years, religious Jews identified by their skull caps, or by their beards, are particularly vulnerable, even when they light their Chanukah candles in the privacy of their home in Monsey, NY."
A global survey by the U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League in November found that anti-Semitic attitudes had increased in many places around the world and significantly in Eastern and Central Europe. It also found that large percentages of people in Eastern and Western European countries think Jews talk too much about the Holocaust.
In the survey, about 78% of respondents in Poland, where the Nazi extermination camp of Auschwitz was located during the German occupation in World War II, answered in the affirmative to the statement: "Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust."
The Nazis and their collaborators killed about six million Jews in their attempt to exterminate European Jewry. Millions of others were also killed, including homosexuals, gypsies and political dissenters.
Francis, who visited Auschwitz in 2016, said remembering the Holocaust was vital to ensure that similar atrocities do not happen again.
"If we lose our memory, we destroy our future," the Pope said. "May the anniversary of the unspeakable cruelty that humanity learned of seventy-five years ago serve as a summons to pause, to be still and to remember. We need to do this, lest we become indifferent."
The Wiesenthal Center's founder also turned his attention to Iran and Hezbollah: “How can we explain that 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, the leaders and mullahs of Iran continue to have the audacity to publicly deny that there ever was a Holocaust?  Yet they still receive VIP treatment when visiting almost every country in the world.
"And why is the world and the UN silent when they know that Hezbollah has stored thousands of rockets and missile launchers near hospitals and schools, deliberately putting their children in harm’s way?" he continued.
Heir added that, "when they know Christians in Kenya and Nigeria are being targeted and beheaded in bloody terrorist attacks…when Lebanese Christians, Muslims and their Jewish neighbors in Northern Israel are threatened by Iran’s terrorist reach and threatened by an uncaring world!"