Natan Sharansky appointed chair of Combat Antisemitism Movement

Sharansky is possibly best known as a human rights leader, a former Prisoner of Zion and a leader in the struggle for the right of Soviet Jews to immigrate to Israel.

 Sharansky and CEO Roytman Dratwa presenting an award to former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo for combating Antisemitism. (photo credit: ODED KARNI)
Sharansky and CEO Roytman Dratwa presenting an award to former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo for combating Antisemitism.
(photo credit: ODED KARNI)

Former deputy prime minister and Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky has accepted the position of chairman of the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) board of advisors.

“I am very pleased to be joining as chair of the Combat Antisemitism Movement advisory board, which has become one of the most effective organizations in fighting antisemitism, bringing disparate groups to the table and pushing for the IHRA [International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance] working definition of antisemitism,” Sharansky said. “It is a very tenuous time for Jews around the world because of rising hate emanating from multiple directions and ideologies.

“We are at a tipping point where antisemitism has become respectable and acceptable, and many of its perpetrators do not even realize they are being antisemitic. That is why the struggle for international recognition of the IHRA definition is very important,” he said.

“It has become worryingly comfortable and even praiseworthy to hold positions on Jews or Jewish collectivity that would not be acceptable against any other people or minority. This is antisemitism and we need to combat it together with allies and friends, – and that is what CAM is doing so effectively.”

"We are at a tipping point where antisemitism has become respectable and acceptable and many of its perpetrators do not even realize they are being antisemitic, that is why the struggle for international recognition of the IHRA definition is very important."

Natan Sharansky 

Who is Natan Sharansky?

Sharansky is best known as a former Prisoner of Zion and a leader in the struggle for the right of Soviet Jews to immigrate to Israel. He is a recipient of the Israel Prize for promoting aliyah and the ingathering of exiles.

NATAN SHARANSKY speaks at the 2018 Jewish Agency Board of Governors conference in Jerusalem. (credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)NATAN SHARANSKY speaks at the 2018 Jewish Agency Board of Governors conference in Jerusalem. (credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)

Sharansky was the recipient of the US Congressional Medal of Honor in 1986 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006. He is the only living non-American citizen to receive both of these American awards.

“It is the greatest honor to have Natan accept the position to chair our board of advisers, which already has many prestigious leaders from different backgrounds,” CAM CEO Sacha Roytman Dratwa said. “Natan has stood up forcefully to hate throughout his life and is an icon in the human rights field. Very few have his history, experience and credentials in fighting intolerance, racism and antisemitism. We know that he will be a tremendous resource and guide for our movement.”

Other members of the board of advisers include former US senator Joe Lieberman, Lord Eric Pickles, Lord John Mann, Dr. Irwin Cotler, Dr. Anita Friedman and Father Patrick Desbois.

According to CAM, the organization is a “global coalition engaging more than 600 partner organizations and 1.7 million people from a diverse array of religious, political and cultural backgrounds in the common mission of fighting the world’s oldest hatred.”