Leaders of major Jewish organizations, led by the Jewish Agency, recently delivered a joint letter to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett calling on the government to designate victims of antisemitic terrorism in the Diaspora as official victims of terrorism.
The Diaspora victims should be commemorated in state ceremonies, as they are an “integral part of national memory,” the letter said.
World Zionist Organization chairman Yaakov Hagoel, acting chairman of the Jewish Agency, had previously held meetings with officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, and a joint committee is being established to further examine the matter.
The letter was also signed by Michael Siegal, outgoing chairman of the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors; incoming chairman Mark Wilf, who is leaving as chairman of the Jewish Federations of North America; Steven Lowy, chairman of the United Israel Appeal’s World Board of Trustees; United Israel Appeal world chairman Sam Grundwerg; and JFNA president and CEO Eric Fingerhut.
“We view this as extremely important due to the sharp rise in the number of antisemitic incidents compared to last year,” the letter said.
Since the beginning of the year, there has been a sharp increase of about 30% in antisemitic incidents outside of Israel, they wrote, adding that some 200 Jews have been killed in antisemitic attacks around the world since the establishment of the State of Israel.
The authors lamented that on Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel’s Wars and Victims of Terrorism, when the country comes to a complete stop to commemorate Israeli victims, those who were killed in antisemitic attacks in the Diaspora are not acknowledged.
“Ironically, on this day, which strongly symbolizes the unity of the Jewish people, a large part of our people – Diaspora Jewry – seems to have been forgotten,” the leaders wrote. “Diaspora and Israeli Jews are brothers and part of the same people. Diaspora Jews are targeted by terrorists around the world because of hatred of Jews and Israel.”
The letter cited the deadly shootings at the Hyper Cacher grocery store in Paris and Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Congregation.
“Diaspora and Israeli Jews are brothers and part of the same people. Diaspora Jews are targeted by terrorists around the world because of hatred of Jews and Israel.”Leaders of major Jewish organizations
“Just as the State of Israel is the state of the Jewish people, and therefore considers itself collectively responsible for the fate of Jews around the world, it must see itself as responsible in this matter as well,” the letter said. “This is a blood connection between Israelis and Diaspora Jews."