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B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International commends the German government for appointing Felix Klein commissioner for combating anti-Semitism, a newly created position.
Klein, who currently serves as special representative for relations with the Jewish community, will be charged with coordinating the government’s activities to fight anti-Semitism within Germany. He also has headed Germany’s delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and played a leading role in prompting his government’s adoption of IHRA’s working definition of anti-Semitism.
It is vitally important that the German government place its prestige and resources behind the pressing issue of anti-Semitism, as it is doing with the creation of the anti-Semitism commissioner post. In 2017 Germany experienced 1,453 anti-Semitic hate crimes, according to government data, as well as a continued mainstreaming of anti-Semitic attitudes, which Klein has vowed to oppose.
B’nai B’rith encourages other governments to create similar positions and to work with stakeholders in civil society to vigorously fight anti-Semitism.