Kantor: US most worrisome country for resurgent antisemitism at present

World Holocaust Forum head insists there was no contact between organizers and Putin regarding Polish president.

President of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation Dr. Moshe Kantor (photo credit: ALEX KOLOMOISKY / POOL)
President of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation Dr. Moshe Kantor
(photo credit: ALEX KOLOMOISKY / POOL)
President of the World Holocaust Forum Foundation Dr. Moshe Kantor said on Thursday that antisemitism in the US is his highest concern, citing a recent rash of severe antisemitic attacks.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post during the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem, he said several other countries were also “in the risk” zone and were of concern, including Australia, France, the UK and Germany.
Kantor said he was particularly worried about antisemitism in the US because the majority of antisemitic incidents there take place on college campuses, and America’s intellectual elite of the future could be influenced by such ideas.
“This is very problematic and dangerous because the mentality and ideology of future leaders are growing over there,” Kantor said. “That is why we appreciate the [Trump] administration’s resolution to prohibit funding of state universities which are not preventing antisemitism in the campuses.”
In December, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that for the first time explicitly applied protections to Jews facing antisemitism and discrimination under Title VI of the Civil Right’s Act
When enforcing complaints under Title VI, executive departments and agencies should consider the working definition of antisemitism drafted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the executive order says.
This has generated controversy because the IHRA definition says opposing the existence of the State of Israel or calling it “a racist endeavor” is antisemitic. Concerns have been raised in the US about infringement of freedom of speech, particularly on campus.
“Everybody has the right to criticize anything, but sometimes this borders a redline,” Kantor said. “Tolerance should be limited by the demand of security.”
He also addressed the controversy surrounding Polish President Andrzej Duda’s decision not to attend the World Holocaust Forum for allegedly not being allowed to speak at the main event.
“According to my knowledge, President Duda was proposed to speak first at the opening of all the ceremonies [at the presidential dinner] Wednesday night,” Kantor said. He acknowledged that Duda had not been invited to speak at the main event at Yad Vashem on Thursday.
Kantor said he had not participated in the determination of which world leaders would speak.
He rejected claims that Russian President Vladamir Putin had pressured event organizers to keep Duda from speaking.
“I never spoke to President Putin about this, never, and neither did the [organizing] administration, not one word,” Kantor said.
Yad Vashem director Avner Shalev said the decision to allow only the leaders of the allied countries in World War II to speak was taken long ago, and Duda had received an “incorrect interpretation” of the event.
“I am really sorry President Duda decided not to come,” he said. “He was invited to speak at the presidential dinner, and Poland has every right to stand with the other nations here.”
“There are disputes and misunderstandings, like between Russia and Poland regarding their own history and its interpretation,” Shalev said. “We believe that the business of wars over history should be handled by historians and researchers who know how to make research and how to publish it. This is what Yad Vashem does.”
Kantor said: “President Duda, with all our respect and desire, was proposed to be the first speaker to open all these ceremonies yesterday, but his position was taken by the King of Spain instead.”