(Wednesday, December 4, 2019) – European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor praised the French National Assembly’s decision, which adopts the IHRA working definition of antisemitism and recognises explicitly that this includes hatred against the State of Israel based on the perception of the latter as a Jewish state.
“We applaud this decision because it is logical and important,” Dr. Kantor said. “Anti-Zionism is almost always just a mask for hatred of Jews and Jewish collectivity and is just the most modern manifestation of the oldest hatred.”
“In the past, antisemites used religious, racial and ethnic slurs, and now they use national. Anti-Zionists co-opt all the worst antisemitic libels and motifs throughout history against Jews and merely reapply them to the Jewish State.”
The motion passed with 154 in favor and 72 opposed in the parliament’s lower house. It was proposed by lawmaker Sylvain Maillard of La Republique en Marche, President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party.
Francis Kalifat, President of the Crif umbrella organisation of French Jews added: “This vote is above all a step forward for France, which joins the concert of 20 countries that have adopted the IHRA definition. It is a necessary step to strengthen the fight against this scourge that represents more than 50% of racist acts in our country.”
“This is a very important step in the global fight against antisemitism and we hope that this will be a precedent that other nations will adopt,” Dr. Kantor continued. “There should be no hiding place for hate, because anti-Zionism is in most cases just a thin veil for antisemitism and it should be treated and thought of in the same way.”
Dr. Kantor is a leading advocate of a global approach to fighting antisemitism and has initiated and is supporting an unprecedented event to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
On 23 January 2020, the Fifth World Holocaust Forum will take place in Jerusalem, and almost 40 heads of state have confirmed they will participate in this unique event. The event, titled “Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Antisemitism,” is being organized by the World Holocaust Forum Foundation, also headed by Dr. Kantor, in cooperation with Yad Vashem, under the auspices of the President of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin.
The President of France Emmanuel Macron, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of Italy Sergio Mattarella and President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen are among the leaders who have so far confirmed their attendance of this historic event.