AJC Strategy Conference, Panel 1: Strategies to Confront and Defuse Islamist Extremism
Writing in the French daily Le Figaro, AJC Paris director Anne-Sophie Sebban-Bécache and Fondapol‘s head of research Victor Delage write that the AJC-Fondapol survey shows that “extreme right-wing antisemitism has not disappeared and antisemitism on the extreme left has resurfaced over the last 20 years or so, but it is Islamist antisemitism that is asserting itself most forcefully.”
Marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, AJC CEO David Harris gave a stirring speech to some 150 EU officials, Members of the European Parliament, diplomats, and civil society representatives. David Harris, who is himself the son of Holocaust survivors, shared his own family’s painful history, highlighted the importance of remembering the past, and underlined the need to protect Jewish life, whether in the diaspora or in a thriving Israel.
EU Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas delivered a powerful keynote address at an International Holocaust Remembrance Day event co-organized by the AJC Transatlantic Institute. Seventy-five years after the liberation of Auschwitz, Vice President Schinas underlined Europe’s collective duty of remembering the past and fighting the current resurgence of antisemitism, including by implementing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition.
On the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Mecca-based Muslim World League Secretary General Dr. Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa and AJC CEO David Harris led a groundbreaking joint visit of Muslims and Jews to Auschwitz. With 62 Muslims, including 25 prominent religious leaders from some 28 countries, the mission brought the most senior Islamic leadership delegation to ever visit a Nazi German death camp. Following a memorial prayer for the dead, Dr. Al-Issa said: “To be here, among the children of Holocaust survivors and members of the Jewish and Islamic communities, is both a sacred duty and a profound honor."
McGill University’s student government condemned a Jewish student leader for accepting an invitation to travel to Israel and the Palestinian Territories, but said nothing about his fellow student who isn’t Jewish. The victims of BDS, it seems, are the students and the state of higher education in North America, argues AJC’s Global Director of Young Leadership Seffi Kogen in The Forward. After all, when it comes to Israel, “illiteracy becomes a virtue, and students who seek to learn are ostracized and shamed.”
Who better to weigh in on antisemitism than Jews? AJC Chief Advocacy Officer Daniel Elbaum presents in The Times of Israel AJC’s just-released landmark survey of U.S. Jews: 84% believe the statement “Israel has no right to exist” is indeed antisemitic. Over 80% said the BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) movement is mostly antisemitic or has antisemitic supporters.
A first in the world body’s history, a UN human rights expert issued a report dealing exclusively with antisemitism. Writing in The Times of Israel, Felice Gaer, head of AJC's Jacob Blaustein Institute, praised the historic report for confronting antisemitism as a human rights problem. It urges all UN countries to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, including Holocaust denial and the rejection of Israel’s right to exist.
In his latest article in New Europe, AJC Transatlantic Institute Director Daniel Schwammenthal unmasks the patently antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The group seeks nothing less than the de-facto dismemberment of a UN Member State: “Irrespective of whether that state in question is Jewish or say, Irish, to call for its end cannot possibly be considered a “legitimate political position.”
Germany’s leading weekly news magazine Der Spiegel faced heavy criticism for publishing a piece entitled ‘Lobbying in the Bundestag: How Two Organizations Control Germany’s Middle East policy.’ AJC Berlin’s Assistant Director Remko Leemhuis writes in The Algemeiner that the article - light on facts and rife with anti-Jewish tropes - is eroding the post-war consensus on antisemitism in Germany.
In this exclusive interview first aired at the Global Forum, AJC’s annual flagship conference held on June 2-4 in Washington, AJC CEO David Harris speaks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about rising anti-Semitism, the future of American global leadership, why the Trump Administration withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, and the need to bolster the crucial U.S.-Israel alliance.