B’nai B’rith International called on the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to adopt a working definition of anti-Semitism during its Human Dimension Implementation Meeting today in Warsaw, Poland. Eric Fusfield, deputy director of the B'nai B'rith International Center for Human Rights and Public Policy, spoke on the global epidemic of anti-Semitism.
“The rise of anti-Jewish hatred has...resulted in a proliferation of anti-Semitic propaganda, much of which is directed against the State of Israel. Tragically, the demonization and delegitimization of the Jewish state has become a daily occurrence, as Israel’s enemies repeatedly accuse it of being a Nazi-like occupier and an apartheid state that disenfranchises the Palestinians. Falsehoods about Israel are repeated so often that they become widely accepted in the popular culture and sometimes impact government policy,” Fusfield said.
Fusfield noted that, in response to anti-Semitic attacks, about 10,000 Jews emigrated from Western Europe to Israel last year—the highest number the region has ever seen. He also discussed the declining number of European Jews who feel safe practicing their Judaism openly.
The task of educating and engaging the public about anti-Semitism necessitates a common definition that clearly illustrates the problem. Following formal approval by the OSCE of such a tool, Fusfield said, the working definition "should then be widely promoted within the OSCE to educate public officials, journalists, and others about the contemporary manifestations of anti-Semitism."
Fusfield continued, “While much has been done to fight anti-Semitism in the past decade or more, much work remains. The need for practical and effective strategies to combat and defeat this pathology is still crucial.