Kyiv Jewish Forum Brings Together Leaders of Global Fight Against Antisemitism
December 21, 2021
One highlight of the third-annual Kyiv Jewish Forum — co-hosted last week by the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine, the Center for Jewish Impact, the Combat Antisemitism Movement, and the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress — was a unique panel featuring top officials involved in the global fight against antisemitism.
The discussion — titled “Antisemitism and Hate Speech: Today’s Challenges” — was moderated by Robert Singer, Chairman of the Center for Jewish Impact and Combat Antisemitism Movement Senior Advisor.
The distinguished lineup of participants included Denys Monastyrsky, Minister of Interior of Ukraine; Dr. Irwin Cotler, Canada’s Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism; Katharina von Schnurbein, European Commission Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life; Fernando Lottenberg, Organization of American States Commissioner to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism; and Shuli Davidovich, Head of the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Bureau for World Jewish Affairs and World Religions.
In his opening remarks, Singer noted, “Ukraine has long been home to one of the world’s most significant Jewish communities, which has experienced both great triumphs and horrific tragedies.”
Minister Monastyrsky declared, “I want to say, confidently, that there is and shall be no room for that phenomenon in Ukraine,” emphasizing that his ministry was investing “maximum efforts to prevent any manipulations and attempts to instigate social rifts based on national or religious characteristics.”
Dr. Cotler commented, “Antisemitism is not only the oldest, longest, most enduring, and most virulent of hatreds, it is toxic to democracies, and it is an assault on our common humanity…The combating of hate speech and antisemitism cannot be the responsibility of the Jewish community alone, nor of one state alone. It must be the collective responsibility of governments, parliaments, and civil society, alike.”
Commissioner Lottenberg said, “We should find a way to balance self-regulation by social providers with legal regulation by the public administration and governments to find a new approach to stop the spread of hate speech and antisemitism.”
Commissioner von Schnurbein stated, “It is for the member states of the EU to ensure that Jewish premises and Jewish communities are secured, and that the fundings for these measures do not rest with the community.”
Davidovich highlighted the IHRA working definition of antisemitism as “maybe the important” tool in fighting Jew-hatred of all forms globally.
“There are many manifestations of antisemitism today, so what the Israeli government is doing is, first of all, talking to other governments and international organizations,” Davidovich said. “We are sharing the same table, we are sharing the same tools, we are united in the fight.”
View a full recording of the “Antisemitism and Hate Speech: Today’s Challenges” panel discussion below:
For more information on the Kyiv Jewish Forum, visit: kyivjewishforum.com