With Israel under fire, int'l lawmakers discuss ways to fight antisemitism

"No issue threatens the Jewish community more than the alarming rise of antisemitism and violent extremism."

Ronald S. Lauder. (photo credit: NOA GRAYEVSKY)
Ronald S. Lauder.
(photo credit: NOA GRAYEVSKY)
As Hamas rockets rain down on Israel and antisemitic hate continues to spread online and in communities, dozens of Jewish legislators and elected officials from around the world came together during the World Jewish Congress’ 16th Plenary Assembly. During the gathering, the first consultation in five years of the relaunched International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians (ICJP), participants discussed how to use their platforms and positions to fight antisemitism and advance human rights.
Newly named Global Chair of the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians, US Sen. Jacky Rosen, who led today’s conversation, said, “No issue threatens the Jewish community more than the alarming rise of antisemitism and violent extremism. This is true in the United States, and it’s true in Israel, Europe, Latin America, and countries all around the world. By promoting dialogue and collaboration between Jewish parliamentarians from different nations, the ICJP helps advance policies that support human rights and democracy. It was an honor to speak to them today about the critically important work we must continue to do to combat antisemitism, xenophobia, and racism through educating and legislating.
“I am grateful to Ambassador Ronald Lauder’s leadership as President of the World Jewish Congress, and for working to reconvene the Council at this critical moment for Jews around the world.”
Sen. Rosen opened the meeting by introducing Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, who placed the event in the context of the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel over the past several days and nights. Amb. Lauder said, “As the Jewish world unites in solidarity with Israel as it defends itself from terrorism, the relaunching of this critical global body, the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians, could not be more timely. We live in an era of conspiracy myths, rising antisemitism and xenophobia, and a disturbing recurrence of Holocaust denial online and offline, and the ICJP has a powerful role to play in countering these troubling, dangerous phenomena.
“Under the leadership of Senator Jacky Rosen, a tremendous advocate in the fight against antisemitism and a leading legislator in efforts to combat the world’s oldest hatred, the ICJP creates a space for Jewish parliamentarians to come together, share experiences, discuss priorities, and unite in a common fight for human rights and democracy. I am looking forward to partnering with Sen. Rosen and parliamentarians from across the globe in advancing our shared values through this significant and influential forum.”
Sen. Rosen shared with her fellow parliamentarians a word of caution in referencing the threat posed by recent incidents of antisemitic hate and violence in Charlottesville, Va., Poway, Calif., and Pittsburgh, Penn., as well as the rampant spread of conspiracy myths and lies targeting Jews during the coronavirus pandemic, “Let me be clear: These are not isolated incidents. They represent a step back for the safety and well-being of the Jewish people. Across the globe – from the US to Europe to the Middle East, antisemitism is on the rise, it’s on the streets, it’s online, it’s in political parties, and it’s even on college campuses.
“This is something that we must come together to confront head-on. We have a responsibility to our neighbors, to our friends, to our community, and to our children to help prevent antisemitism before it starts.”
US Rep. Ted Deutch, North American ICJP Co-Chair, led the second half of the conversation, emphasizing the troubling trend of rising antisemitism in the US and globally and the current violence in Israel. He said to his fellow parliamentarians, “I don’t have to tell any of you that the principles of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law are under attack in many places around the world. The forces of racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, terrorism, and Holocaust denial are growing threats to peace and stability, not only to the Jewish community but starting with the Jewish community. 
“It affects every Jewish community – all of us – because we are one Jewish community. As Jewish parliamentarians, we have to fight antisemitic attacks wherever they occur. We must come to the defense of every Jew, every Jewish community facing hatred and violence. And right now, at this very moment, Israelis, our Israeli colleagues, the Israeli people, are under siege by Hamas terrorists launching rockets with the sole purpose of killing as many civilians as they can, and we, Jewish parliamentarians, cannot afford to be silent.”