Combat Antisemitism Movement Unveils New Municipal Action Plan Against Antisemitism at Global Mayors Summit in Greece
ATHENS, Greece — Municipal leaders from more than 50 cities around the world convened in Athens, Greece, last week for the 2022 Mayors Summit Against Antisemitism, where they signed a joint declaration underscoring their commitment to combating Jew-hatred in their respective communities.
The summit was hosted by Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakoyannis and co-organized by the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) and Center for Jewish Impact (CJI), in partnership with the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and Jewish Community of Athens.
“As municipal leaders, we have a unique ability to confront antisemitism at the local level, on the ground, where its effects are most viscerally felt by our Jewish constituents,” a portion of the statements reads, “and we must be vigilant against all modern and classical iterations of Jew-hatred.”
The full text of the declaration can be found here.
At the end of the summit, CAM CEO Sacha Roytman Dratwa unveiled a new six-point plan for municipal leaders to take impactful action to fight religious bigotry and secure and nurture Jewish life in their cities:
— Appoint a coordinator responsible for liaising with the city’s Jewish community and organizing the municipal-level response to incidents of antisemitism.
— Adopt the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism — the most authoritative, comprehensive, and widely-accepted tool used to delineate contemporary manifestations of antisemitism across the ideological spectrum.
— Allocate municipal resources for initiatives fostering interfaith tolerance, understanding, and harmony.
— Enforce a zero-tolerance policy for antisemitism, with municipal officials uniformly speaking out to condemn each and every local act of Jew-hatred.
— Devise an educational plan to train municipal staff and law enforcement personnel how to detect and react to all forms of modern-day antisemitism.
— Celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month and the European Day of Jewish Culture with annual municipal programming by highlighting the rich and storied history of the Jewish people in the U.S. and Europe and the positive contributions of Jews to American and European culture and society.
The one-day summit featured an opening dinner with keynote remarks delivered by the President of the Hellenic Republic of Greece, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, as well as the presentation of the CAM Civic Leadership Award to New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the CAM Humanitarian Award to professional basketball player and human rights activist Enes Kanter Freedom.
During the summit’s plenary sessions, a distinguished lineup of mayors, high-level municipal officials, and relevant experts discussed a broad array of antisemitism-related issues, sharing the challenges faced and comparing best practices in the collective effort against the world’s oldest hatred, while offering pragmatic solutions to protect local Jewish communities, foster Jewish life, and safeguard an inclusive and democratic global future.
Mayor Adams called out social media companies for the role their platforms play in fomenting hatred, particularly among the young, saying, “We need to not only build a better globe for our children, but build better children for our globe. Right now, our children have been hijacked by those who put profit over public safety and their mental stability. We have to reclaim our children.”
The summit also included a solemn wreath-laying ceremony at the Holocaust Memorial of Greece, as well as a visit to the historic Beit Shalom synagogue in central Athens.
Coinciding with the Athens gathering, CAM also led an event on the sidelines of the 27th Mercociudades Summit in Montevideo, Uruguay, which was attended by Latin American municipal officials representing nearly 100 cities, with the mayors of São Paulo, Brazil, and Santiago, Chile, among them.
The CAM session, titled “Tolerant and Inclusive Cities: Challenges and Opportunities,” focused on addressing the problem of intolerance and antisemitism from different angles, in an effort to contribute to social solidarity in the cities of Latin America.
Speakers included representatives of B’nai B’rith International, the Shoah Project, central rabbis from the Jewish community of Uruguay, and a family member of a victim of antisemitism.
To talk with a CAM representative about the Mayors Summit Antisemitism, and to learn more about the growing coalition to defeat Jew-hatred, please contact: [email protected].
The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) is a global coalition engaging more than 600 partner organizations and nearly two million people from a diverse array of religious, political, and cultural backgrounds in the common mission of fighting the world’s oldest hatred. CAM acts collaboratively to build a better future, free of bigotry, for Jews and all humanity.
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