International Framework Documents on Combating Anti-Semitism: Berlin Declaration, FRA Working Definition of Anti-Semitism

, December 1, 2010

No. 105,

Ottawa and London Interparliamentarian Statements, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Speech at Ottawa Conference

  • Several important texts have been adopted in recent years by international organizations and conferences to provide a framework for defining, monitoring, and combating anti-Semitism. Five of these texts are contained in this document.
  • The April 2004 Berlin Declaration of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) commits the fifty-five OSCE member states to monitor and combat anti-Semitism within the region.
  • The 2005 Working Definition of Anti-Semitism of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) – now called the Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) – provides the twenty-five EU member states with a common definition of anti-Semitism for use by justice ministries, law enforcement agencies, and the RAXEN network of national focal points monitoring racist violence.[1]
  • The Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (ICCA) brings together parliamentarians from around the world to lead the fight against resurgent global anti-Semitism. Its principal purpose is to share knowledge, experience, best practice, and recommendations, encouraging their dissemination in an attempt to deal more effectively with contemporary anti-Semitism. The first conference took place in London in 2009, the second in Ottawa in November 2010. At both conferences statements were adopted.
  • At the 2010 Ottawa conference, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a speech that stands out for its unequivocal expression of Canada’s attitude toward the Middle East conflict.

1) The Berlin Declaration[2]

Bulgarian Chairmanship

The Chairman-in-Office

Distinguished delegates,

Let me sum up the proceedings of this Conference in what I would like to call

“Berlin Declaration”.

Based on consultations I conclude that OSCE participating States,

Reaffirming the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which proclaims that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, religion or other status,

Recalling that Article 18 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights state that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion,

Recalling also the decisions of the OSCE Ministerial Councils at Porto and Maastricht, as well as previous decisions and documents, and committing ourselves to intensify efforts to combat anti-Semitism in all its manifestations and to promote and strengthen tolerance and non-discrimination,

Recognizing that anti-Semitism, following its most devastating manifestation during the Holocaust, has assumed new forms and expressions, which, along with other forms of intolerance, pose a threat to democracy, the values of civilization and, therefore, to overall security in the OSCE region and beyond,

Concerned in particular that this hostility toward Jews — as individuals or collectively – on racial, social, and/or religious grounds, has manifested itself in verbal and physical attacks and in the desecration of synagogues and cemeteries,

1. Condemn without reserve all manifestations of anti-Semitism, and all other acts of intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or religious belief, wherever they occur;

2. Also condemn all attacks motivated by anti-Semitism or by any other forms of religious or racial hatred or intolerance, including attacks against synagogues and other religious places, sites and shrines;

3. Declare unambiguously that international developments or political issues, including those in Israel or elsewhere in the Middle East, never justify anti-Semitism;

In addition, I note that the Maastricht Ministerial Council in its Decision on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination, tasked the Permanent Council “to further discuss ways and means of increasing the efforts of the OSCE and the participating States for the promotion of tolerance and non-discrimination in all fields.” In light of this Ministerial Decision, I welcome the April 22 Permanent Council Decision on Combating Anti-Semitism and, in accordance with that Decision, incorporate it into this Declaration.

1. The OSCE participating States commit to:

– Strive to ensure that their legal systems foster a safe environment free from anti-Semitic harassment, violence or discrimination in all fields of life;

– Promote, as appropriate, educational programmes for combating anti-Semitism;

– Promote remembrance of and, as appropriate, education about the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the importance of respect for all ethnic and religious groups;

– Combat hate crimes, which can be fuelled by racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic propaganda in the media and on the Internet;

– Encourage and support international organization and NGO efforts in these areas;

– Collect and maintain reliable information and statistics about anti-Semitic crimes, and other hate crimes, committed within their territory, report such information periodically to the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), and make this information available to the public;

– Endeavour to provide the ODIHR with the appropriate resources to accomplish the tasks agreed upon in the Maastricht Ministerial Decision on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination;

– Work with the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to determine appropriate ways to review periodically the problem of anti-Semitism;

– Encourage development of informal exchanges among experts in appropriate fora on best practices and experiences in law enforcement and education;

2. To task the ODIHR to:

– Follow closely, in full co-operation with other OSCE institutions as well as the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD), the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) and other relevant international institutions and NGOs, anti-Semitic incidents in the OSCE area making use of all reliable information available;

– Report its findings to the Permanent Council and to the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting and make these findings public. These reports should also be taken into account in deciding on priorities for the work of the OSCE in the area of intolerance; and

– Systematically collect and disseminate information throughout the OSCE area on best practices for preventing and responding to anti-Semitism and, if requested, offer advice to participating States in their efforts to fight anti-Semitism;

This Decision will be forwarded to the Ministerial Council for endorsement at its Twelfth Meeting.

2) The EUMC (FRA) Working Definition of Anti-Semitism[3]

The purpose of this document is to provide a practical guide for identifying incidents, collecting data, and supporting the implementation and enforcement of legislation dealing with anti-Semitism.

Working definition: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

In addition, such manifestations could also target the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.

Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

  • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
  • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective – such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
  • Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

Examples of the ways in which antisemitism manifests itself with regard to the State of Israel taking into account the overall context could include:

  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
  • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.

Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries).

Criminal acts are antisemitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews.

Antisemitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries.

3) The London Declaration[4]

Preamble

We, Representatives of our respective Parliaments from across the world, convening in London for the founding Conference and Summit of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism, draw the democratic world’s attention to the resurgence of antisemitism as a potent force in politics, international affairs and society.

We note the dramatic increase in recorded antisemitic hate crimes and attacks targeting Jewish persons and property, and Jewish religious, educational and communal institutions.

We are alarmed at the resurrection of the old language of prejudice and its modern manifestations – in rhetoric and political action – against Jews, Jewish belief and practice and the State of Israel.

We are alarmed by Government-backed antisemitism in general, and state-backed genocidal antisemitism, in particular.

We, as Parliamentarians, affirm our commitment to a comprehensive programme of action to meet this challenge.

We call upon national governments, parliaments, international institutions, political and civic leaders, NGOs, and civil society to affirm democratic and human values, build societies based on respect and citizenship and combat any manifestations of antisemitism and discrimination.

We today in London resolve that;

Challenging Antisemitism

1. Parliamentarians shall expose, challenge, and isolate political actors who engage in hate against Jews and target the State of Israel as a Jewish collectivity;

2. Parliamentarians should speak out against antisemitism and discrimination directed against any minority, and guard against equivocation, hesitation and justification in the face of expressions of hatred;

3. Governments must challenge any foreign leader, politician or public figure who denies, denigrates or trivialises the Holocaust and must encourage civil society to be vigilant to this phenomenon and to openly condemn it;

4. Parliamentarians should campaign for their Government to uphold international commitments on combating antisemitism – including the OSCE Berlin Declaration and its eight main principles;

5. The UN should reaffirm its call for every member state to commit itself to the principles laid out in the Holocaust Remembrance initiative including specific and targeted policies to eradicate Holocaust denial and trivialisation;

6. Governments and the UN should resolve that never again will the institutions of the international community and the dialogue of nation states be abused to try to establish any legitimacy for antisemitism, including the singling out of Israel for discriminatory treatment in the international arena, and we will never witness – or be party to – another gathering like the United Nations World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and other related Intolerances in Durban in 2001;

7. The OSCE should encourage its member states to fulfil their commitments under the 2004 Berlin Declaration and to fully utilise programmes to combat antisemitism including the Law Enforcement programme LEOP;

8. The European Union, inter-state institutions, multilateral fora and religious communities must make a concerted effort to combat antisemitism and lead their members to adopt proven and best practice methods of countering antisemitism;

9. Leaders of all religious faiths should be called upon to use all the means possible to combat antisemitism and all types of discriminatory hostilities among believers and society at large;

10. The EU Council of Ministers should convene a session on combating antisemitism relying on the outcomes of the London Conference on Combating Antisemitism and using the London Declaration as a basis.

Prohibitions

11. Governments should fully reaffirm and actively uphold the Genocide Convention, recognising that where there is incitement to genocide signatories automatically have an obligation to act. This may include sanctions against countries involved in or threatening to commit genocide, referral of the matter to the UN Security Council, or initiation of an interstate complaint at the International Court of Justice;

12. Parliamentarians should legislate effective Hate Crime legislation recognising “hate aggravated crimes” and, where consistent with local legal standards, “incitement to hatred” offences and empower law enforcement agencies to convict;

13. Governments that are signatories to the Hate Speech Protocol of the Council of Europe ‘Convention on Cybercrime’ (and the ‘Additional Protocol to the Convention on cybercrime, concerning the criminalisation of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems’) should enact domestic enabling legislation;

Identifying the threat

14. Parliamentarians should return to their legislature, Parliament or Assembly and establish inquiry scrutiny panels that are tasked with determining the existing nature and state of antisemitism in their countries and developing recommendations for government and civil society action;

15. Parliamentarians should engage with their governments in order to measure the effectiveness of existing policies and mechanisms in place and to recommend proven and best practice methods of countering antisemitism;

16. Governments should ensure they have publicly accessible incident reporting systems, and that statistics collected on antisemitism should be the subject of regular review and action by government and state prosecutors and that an adequate legislative framework is in place to tackle hate crime;

17. Governments must expand the use of the EUMC ‘Working Definition of antisemitism’ to inform policy of national and international organisations and as a basis for training material for use by Criminal Justice Agencies;

18. Police services should record allegations of hate crimes and incidents – including antisemitism – as routine part of reporting crimes;

19. The OSCE should work with member states to seek consistent data collection systems for antisemitism and hate crime.

Education, awareness and training

20. Governments should train Police, prosecutors and judges comprehensively. The training is essential if perpetrators of antisemitic hate crime are to be successfully apprehended, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced. The OSCE’s Law enforcement Programme LEOP is a model initiative consisting of an international cadre of expert police officers training police in several countries;

21. Governments should develop teaching materials on the subjects of the Holocaust, racism, antisemitism and discrimination which are incorporated into the national school curriculum.

All teaching materials ought to be based on values of comprehensiveness, inclusiveness, acceptance and respect and should be designed to assist students to recognise and counter antisemitism and all forms of hate speech;

22. The Council of Europe should act efficiently for the full implementation of its ‘Declaration and Programme for Education for Democratic Citizenship based on the Rights and Responsibilities of the Citizens’, adopted on 7 May 1999 in Budapest;

23. Governments should include a comprehensive training programme across the Criminal Justice System using programmes such as the LEOP programme;

24. Education Authorities should ensure that freedom of speech is upheld within the law and to protect students and staff from illegal antisemitic discourse and a hostile environment in whatever form it takes including calls for boycotts.

Community Support

25. The Criminal Justice System should publicly notify local communities when anti-Semitic hate crimes are prosecuted by the courts to build community confidence in reporting and pursuing convictions through the Criminal Justice system;

26. Parliamentarians should engage with civil society institutions and leading NGOs to create partnerships that bring about change locally, domestically and globally, and support efforts that encourage Holocaust education, inter-religious dialogue and cultural exchange.

Media and the Internet

27. Governments should acknowledge the challenge and opportunity of the growing new forms of communication;

28. Media Regulatory Bodies should utilise the EUMC ‘Working Definition of antisemitism’ to inform media standards;

29. Governments should take appropriate and necessary action to prevent the broadcast of antisemitic programmes on satellite television channels, and to apply pressure on the host broadcast nation to take action to prevent the transmission of anti-Semitic programmes;

30. The OSCE should seek ways to coordinate the response of member states to combat the use of the internet to promote incitement to hatred;

31. Law enforcement authorities should use domestic “hate crime”, “incitement to hatred” and other legislation as well as other means to mitigate and, where permissible, to prosecute “Hate on the Internet” where racist and antisemitic content is hosted, published and written;

32. An international task force of Internet specialists comprised of parliamentarians and experts should be established to create common metrics to measure antisemitism and other manifestations of hate online and to develop policy recommendations and practical instruments for Governments and international frameworks to tackle these problems.

Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism

33. Participants will endeavour to maintain contact with fellow delegates through the working group framework, communicating successes or requesting further support where required;

34. Delegates should reconvene for the next ICCA Conference in Canada in 2010, become an active member of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition and promote and prioritise the London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism.

4) The Ottawa Protocol on Combating Antisemitism[5]

Preamble

We, Representatives of our respective Parliaments from across the world, convening in Ottawa for the second Conference and Summit of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism, note and reaffirm the London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism as a template document for the fight against antisemitism.

We are concerned that, since the London Conference in February 2009, there continues to be a dramatic increase in recorded antisemitic hate crimes and attacks targeting Jewish persons and property, and Jewish religious, educational and communal institutions.

We remain alarmed by ongoing state-sanctioned genocidal antisemitism and related extremist ideologies. If antisemitism is the most enduring of hatreds, and genocide is the most horrific of crimes, then the convergence of the genocidal intent embodied in antisemitic ideology is the most toxic of combinations.

We are appalled by the resurgence of the classic anti-Jewish libels, including:

– The Blood Libel (that Jews use the blood of children for ritual sacrifice)

– The Jews as “Poisoners of the Wells” – responsible for all evils in the world

– The myth of the “new Protocols of the Elders of Zion” – the tsarist forgery that proclaimed an international Jewish conspiracy bent on world domination – and accuses the Jews of controlling government, the economy, media and public institutions.

– The double entendre of denying the Holocaust – accusing the Jews of fabricating the Holocaust as a hoax – and the nazification of the Jew and the Jewish people.

We are alarmed by the explosion of antisemitism and hate on the Internet, a medium crucial for the promotion and protection of freedom of expression, freedom of information, and the participation of civil society.

We are concerned over the failure of most OSCE participating states to fully implement provisions of the 2004 Berlin Declaration, including the commitment to:

“Collect and maintain reliable information and statistics about antisemitic crimes, and other hate crimes, committed within their territory, report such information periodically to the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), and make this information available to the public.”

We are concerned by the reported incidents of antisemitism on campuses, such as acts of violence, verbal abuse, rank intolerance, and assaults on those committed to free inquiry, while undermining fundamental academic values.

We renew our call for national Governments, Parliaments, international institutions, political and civic leaders, NGOs, and civil society to affirm democratic and human values, build societies based on respect and citizenship and combat any manifestations of antisemitism and all forms of discrimination.

We reaffirm the EUMC – now Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) – working definition of antisemitism, which sets forth that:

“Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

  • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
  • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective – such as, especially but not exclusively – the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy, or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
  • Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

Examples of the ways in which antisemitism manifests itself with regard to the State of Israel taking into account the overall context could include:

  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour.
  • Applying double standards by requiring of it behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
  • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel.

However, criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.

Let it be clear: Criticism of Israel is not antisemitic, and saying so is wrong. But singling Israel out for selective condemnation and opprobrium – let alone denying its right to exist or seeking its destruction – is discriminatory and hateful, and not saying so is dishonest.

Members of Parliament meeting in Ottawa commit to:

1. Calling on our Governments to uphold international commitments on combating antisemitism – such as the OSCE Berlin Principles – and to engage with the United Nations for that purpose. In the words of former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, “It is […] rightly said that the United Nations emerged from the ashes of the Holocaust. And a Human Rights agenda that fails to address antisemitism denies its own history”;

2. Calling on Parliaments and Governments to adopt the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism and anchor its enforcement in existing law;

3. Encouraging countries throughout the world to establish mechanisms for reporting and monitoring on domestic and international antisemitism, along the lines of the “Combating Antisemitism Act of 2010” recently introduced in the United States Congress;

4. Encouraging the leaders of all religious faiths – represented also at this Conference – to use all means possible to combat antisemitism and all forms of hatred and discrimination;

5. Calling on the Parliamentary Forum of the Community of Democracies to make the combating of hatred and antisemitism a priority in their work;

6. Calling on Governments and Parliamentarians to reaffirm and implement the Genocide Convention, recognising that where there is incitement to genocide, State parties have an obligation to act;

7. Working with universities to encourage them to combat antisemitism with the same seriousness with which they confront other forms of hate. Specifically, universities should be invited to define antisemitism clearly, provide specific examples, and enforce conduct codes firmly, while ensuring compliance with freedom of speech and the principle of academic freedom. Universities should use the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism as a basis for education, training and orientation. Indeed, there should be zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind against anyone in the university community on the basis of race, gender, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or political position;

8. We encourage the European Union to promote civic education and open society in its European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and to link funding to democratic development and respect for Human Rights in ENP partner countries;

9. Establishing an International Task Force of Internet specialists comprised of parliamentarians and experts to create common indicators to identify and monitor antisemitism and other manifestations of hate online and to develop policy recommendations for Governments and international frameworks to address these problems;

10. Building on the African representation at this Conference, to develop increased working relationships with parliamentarians in Africa for the combating of racism and antisemitism;

11. We urge the incoming OSCE Chair, Lithuania, to make implementation of these commitments a priority during 2011 and call for the reappointment of the Special Representatives to assist in this work.


 

5) Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the Ottawa Conference [6]

“Members of the Steering Committee, fellow parliamentarians, Ladies and gentlemen, let me begin by saying how delighted I am to see so many of you from around the world, gathered here in Ottawa for the second annual conference of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism.
“It is a sign, not only of your commitment to our common cause, but also of the momentum established at the London Conference last year.  It is, therefore, a great sign of hope.
“History teaches us that anti-Semitism is a tenacious and particularly dangerous form of hatred.  And recent events are demonstrating that this hatred is now in resurgence throughout the world.  That is why the work of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism has never been so important or timely as it is now.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians, I commend you and support you in the great and important work that you are doing.
“I would like to thank Minister Jason Kenney, for inviting the ICCA to Ottawa, and for his outstanding record of leadership in combating anti-Semitism.
“I would like also to thank my introducer and friend, Scott Reid, Chair of the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism, and Mario Silva, Vice Chair, for organizing this conference.
“And I would like to thank all my colleagues in the Parliament of Canada here today, including Professor Irwin Cotler, for their dedication to your mission.
“Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, two weeks ago I visited Ukraine for the first time.
“In Kiev I laid a wreath at Babi Yar, the site of one of the numerous atrocities of the Holocaust. I was left there with much the same impression as I had in Auschwitz in 2008 – that such horrors defy all comprehension.
“At the killing grounds of Babyn Yar, I knew I was standing in a place where evil – evil at its most cruel, obscene, and grotesque – had been unleashed.  But while evil of this magnitude may be unfathomable, it is nonetheless a fact.
“It is a fact of history.  And it is a fact of our nature – that humans can choose to be inhuman.  This is the paradox of freedom.  That awesome power, that grave responsibility – to choose between good and evil.
“Let us not forget that even in the darkest hours of the Holocaust, men were free to choose good.  And some did.  That is the eternal witness of the Righteous Among the Nations.  And let us not forget that even now, there are those who would choose evil and would launch another Holocaust, if left unchecked.  That is the challenge before us today.
“The horror of the Holocaust is unique, but it is just one chapter in the long and unbroken history of anti-Semitism.  Yet, in contemporary debates that influence the fate of the Jewish homeland, unfortunately, there are those who reject the language of good and evil.  They say that the situation is not black and white, that we mustn’t choose sides.
“In response to this resurgence of moral ambivalence on these issues, we must speak clearly.  Remembering the Holocaust is not merely an act of historical recognition.
“It must also be an understanding and an undertaking.  An understanding that the same threats exist today.  And an undertaking of a solemn responsibility to fight those threats.
“Jews today in many parts of the world and many different settings are increasingly subjected to vandalism, threats, slurs, and just plain, old-fashioned lies.
“Let me draw your attention to some particularly disturbing trends.  Anti-Semitism has gained a place at our universities, where at times it is not the mob who are removed, but the Jewish students under attack.  And, under the shadow of a hateful ideology with global ambitions, one which targets the Jewish homeland as a scapegoat, Jews are savagely attacked around the world, such as, most appallingly, in Mumbai in 2008.
“One ruthless champion of that ideology brazenly threatens to ‘wipe Israel off the map,’ and time and again flouts the obligations that his country has taken under international treaties.  I could go on, but I know that you will agree on one point: that this is all too familiar.
“We have seen all this before.  And we have no excuse to be complacent.  In fact we have a duty to take action.  And for all of us, that starts at home.
“In Canada, we have taken a number of steps to assess and combat anti-Semitism in our own country.  You will no doubt hear from my Canadian colleagues about the measures we have taken to date.
“I will mention for the time being that, for the first time, we are dealing with Canada’s own record of officially sanctioned anti-Semitism.  We have created a fund for education about our country’s deliberate rejection of Jewish refugees before and during the Second World War.
“But of course we must also combat anti-Semitism beyond our borders, an evolving, global phenomenon.  And we must recognize, that while its substance is as crude as ever, its method is now more sophisticated.
“Harnessing disparate anti-Semitic, anti-American and anti-Western ideologies, it targets the Jewish people by targeting the Jewish homeland, Israel, as the source of injustice and conflict in the world, and uses, perversely, the language of human rights to do so.
“We must be relentless in exposing this new anti-Semitism for what it is.  Of course, like any country, Israel may be subjected to fair criticism.  And like any free country, Israel subjects itself to such criticism – healthy, necessary, democratic debate.  But when Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack – is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand.  Demonization, double standards, delegitimization, the three D’s, it is the responsibility of us all to stand up to them.
“And I know, by the way, because I have the bruises to show for it, that whether it is at the United Nations, or any other international forum, the easy thing to do is simply to just get along and go along with this anti-Israeli rhetoric, to pretend it is just being even-handed, and to excuse oneself with the label of ‘honest broker.’  There are, after all, a lot more votes, a lot more, in being anti-Israeli than in taking a stand.  But, as long as I am Prime Minister, whether it is at the UN or the Francophonie or anywhere else, Canada will take that stand, whatever the cost.    And friends, I say this not just because it is the right thing to do, but because history shows us, and the ideology of the anti-Israeli mob tells us all too well if we listen to it, that those who threaten the existence of the Jewish people are a threat to all of us.
“Earlier I noted the paradox of freedom.  It is freedom that makes us human.  Whether it leads to heroism or depravity depends on how we use it.
“As the spectre of anti-Semitism spreads, our responsibility becomes increasingly clear.  We are citizens of free countries.  We have the right, and therefore the obligation, to speak out and to act.  We are free citizens, but also the elected representatives of free peoples.  We have a solemn duty to defend the vulnerable, to challenge the aggressor, to protect and promote human rights, human dignity, at home and abroad.  None of us really knows whether we would choose to do good, in the extreme circumstances of the Righteous.  But we do know there are those today who would choose to do evil, if they are so permitted.  Thus, we must use our freedom now, and confront them and their anti-Semitism at every turn.
“That, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the purpose of our intervention today: our shared determination to confront this terrible hatred.  The work we have undertaken, in our own countries and in cooperation with one another, is a sign of hope.
“Our work together is a sign of hope, just as the existence and persistence of the Jewish homeland is a sign of hope.  And it is here that history serves not to warn but to inspire.
“As I said on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, Israel appeared as a light, in a world emerging from deep darkness.  Against all odds, that light has not been extinguished. It burns bright, upheld by the universal principles of all civilized nations – freedom, democracy and justice.
“By working together more closely in the family of civilized nations, we affirm and strengthen those principles.  And we declare our faith in humanity’s future in the power of good over evil.
“Thank you for all you are doing to spread that faith.  And thank you for your kind attention.
“Thank you very much.”

*     *     *

Notes

[1] Michael Whine, “Progress in the Struggle Against Anti-Semitism in Europe: The Berlin Declaration and the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia’s Working Definition of Anti-Semitism,” Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism, 41, 1 February 2006.

[2] OSCE, “Berlin Declaration”, 2004. www.osce.org/documents/cio/2004/04/2828_en.pdf

[3] European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, “Working definition of antisemitism”, 2005. http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/material/pub/AS/AS-WorkingDefinition-draft.pdf

[4] The London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism, 2009. www.antisem.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/london-declaration-on-combating-antisemitism.pdf

[5] The Ottawa Protocol on Combating Antisemitism, 2010. www.antisem.org/archive/ottawa-protocol-on-combating-antisemitism/

[6] “Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the Ottawa Conference on Combating Anti-Semitism”, 8 November 2010, www.pm.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?category=3&id=3769&featureId=6&pageId=26