CAM Welcomes New Members at First-Ever Advisory Board Meeting
The Combat Anti-Semitism Movement (CAM) held its first-ever Advisory Board meeting on Thursday, and welcomed six new distinguished advisers into its fold.
“It’s a great honor to have such a wonderful board with people from all the corners of the world,” CAM Director Sacha Roytman-Dratwa said at the start of the virtual gathering. “CAM is a global movement of people of all faiths. We have Muslims, Christians and Jews, and we all come together to fight the world’s oldest hatred and make humanity better.”
The new board members are André Azoulay, Senior Advisor to King Mohammed VI of Morocco; Mario Bucaro, Ambassador of Guatemala to Mexico; Elan S. Carr, Former U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism; Danny Danon, Former Ambassador of Israel to the UN; Andrés Roemer, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Social Change and the Free Flow of Knowledge; and Dina Porat, Professor Emeritus and Head of the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University and Chief Historian at Yad Vashem.
Existing board members who took part in Thursday’s meeting included Isaac Herzog, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel; Valentina Leskaj, Member of the Assembly of the Republic of Albania; Joseph Lieberman, Former US Senator of Connecticut; The Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles, UK Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues; Natan Sharansky, Human Rights Activist and Former Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel; and Ruth Wisse, Professor Emeritus at Harvard University.
The event included a diplomatic briefing from Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director-General Alon Ushpiz, who provided his insights into the challenges and opportunities facing Israel in 2021, including the ongoing danger posed by Iran and the new horizons opened by the Abraham Accords.
“I would like to commend you for your very important contributions to the fight against anti-Semitism,” Ushpiz said.
Carr commented, “I think it is true to say the Abraham Accords are the beginning of the end of the BDS movement, because it gets harder and harder to justify BDS when the people for whom one is ostensibly boycotting Israel aren’t boycotting Israel.”
Lieberman said, “Today, anti-Semites in America are not constrained by a prevailing ethic. Just look at the last few years in our country — murders based on anti-Semitism in Pittsburgh, Poway, and the supermarket in New Jersey, the grotesque anti-Semitic outburst at Charlottesville, and just on January 6 in the mob attack on the Capitol. In a way that is different from any other time in my life, here in America, I’m worried about anti-Semitism. And the I think that the power that this group brings together to fight it and push it back is critically important.”
Sharansky noted, “CAM has proved its effectiveness, with so many of our friends in different countries succeeding in joining the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. At the same time, we are hearing calls against the definition, including from some Jewish organizations, because they insist it will restrict freedom of speech, which I think is ridiculous. But it reminds us of how much we still have to do.”
Pickles added, “Signing the IHRA definition isn’t enough. We need to see a whole raft of work at the various institutions [who have adopted IHRA] to follow through to ensure that we can beat down on anti-Semitism.”
Leskaj stated, “I’m here, like all of you, because anti-Semitism is rising up, and I want to make my modest contribution in this field [of fighting it]. And, of course, I’m coming from a country of three religions, but religion has never been a reason to divide, but rather to bring people together.”
Bucaro emphasized “the deep love Guatemalans have for Israel, and the commitment that we have to fight against anti-Semitism and discrimination against any people.”
Danon pointed out, “There is a lot of work to be done with leaders worldwide, and I’m looking forward to working with CAM to educate more people.”
Herzog said, “We’re all inundated with this challenge of anti-Semitism. I hope that we will be able to work together, from strength to strength. We have to work together not only on the negative, but also on the positive.”