Skip to main content

addressing the rise of global anti-semitism

ICJW representatives at the UN attended a talk on "The Human Rights Dimension:  Addressing the Rise of Global Genocidal Anti-Semitism and Vatican II’s Nostra Aetate" at the UN's NY Headquarters on August 11, 2015

This WCCICC / PJTN Conference focused on the international rise of global anti-Semitism with the goal of promoting an environment that prevents human rights violations. Government and religious leaders spoke about successes and failures with an emphasis on charging Christians to develop best practices at the UN and in their countries to address this threat to their Jewish brethren and all people of faith.

Some Background Information to bring context to the session:
WCCICC (World Council of Independent Christian Churches) is an organization that provides a platform to independent churches that are deprived of the collective support and the privileges of mainline denominations. Members are encouraged to preserve their Christian heritage and adherence to the Word of God. It is a fellowship of churches, pastors, ministries, Christian schools and individual members in 72 nations around the world.

PJTN (Proclaiming Justice to the Nations) produces film and media communications to educate Christians about their biblical responsibility to defend Israel and her people. PJTN introduces Christians to the Hebrew roots of their faith and the mandate to support Israel while talking about human rights and anti-Semitic/anti-Israel bias, removing inaccurate information from school text books, encouraging partnerships and grassroots programs, and warning about the spread of Sharia law in the US.

Nostra Aetate, as part of the Second Vatican Council, made historic changes to church policies and theology. It is a ground breaking theological shift asserting that the land of Israel is the homeland of the Jews and rejecting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the blood libels. This document translates from the Latin to mean “In Our Time” and revolutionized the Catholic Church’s approach to Jews and Judaism. It repudiated the old deicide charge against all Jews and stresses the religious bond shared by Jews and Catholics and the covenant between God and the People of Israel. It encourages dialogue, discussion, mutual understanding and appreciation. 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of its declaration.

PANELISTS

Ambassador and Permanent Representative Dr. Caleb Otto from Palau
At the end of WWII, the world vowed “Never Again” but the UN has strayed from this mission. Peace still eludes the world. He wonders why Israel is repeatedly condemned at the UN and why there are so many resolutions passed against one country-Israel.

Nelly Shiloh: Human Rights expert from the Israel Mission
Unfortunately, the rise of global anti-Semitism is real and we must pay attention to calls for the death of all Jews and to journalism demonizing Jews. It is crucial to recognize that hatred of Jews (leading, for example, to Jews fearing to wear kipas in public) leads to murder of Jews as in Belgium, Toulouse and Paris. There is, in Europe, a loss of a basic sense of security for Jews. Some statesmen have spoken out but we need more to do so. She also discussed attempts to explain anti-Semitism; nothing Jews do or say explains it. It is totally irrational and must be eradicated. Attempts to delegitimize Israel are anti-Semitism masquerading in a new form. The UN must condemn anti-Semitism and other discrimination on the basis of religion. No resolution exists in the UN on this issue! We should be working toward achieving such a resolution.

Monika Pachoumi: from the Cyprus Mission
She too is concerned about the rise of anti-Semitism. To combat this, religious tolerance and inter-faith dialogue must be promoted. We each have the power to do something.

Msgr. Guy Massie: a Senior Pastor of a Catholic Church
The Monseigneur spoke about Nostra Aetate and how it turned about Catholic thinking while condemning anti-Semitism and promoting mutual understanding. He warned about the danger of religious fundamentalists.

Lauri Regan: President of the NY chapter of the Endowment for Middle East Truth
We heard way too many examples of anti-Semitism around the world and about so much Muslim/Islamic aggression and hatred against the Jews and opposition to Israel. She spoke about the proliferation of lies and the vilification of Israel on US college campuses (BDS movement). She warned that we must not repeat history and that “when Israel goes, so goes the rest of the world”.

Sammy Eppel: a journalist and consultant on Latin American anti-Semitism
Eppel spoke about Christians and their persecution by fundamentalists while living in the Middle East. These same fundamentalists are now spreading anti-Semitism that he calls a social disease and a human rights problem. 20 years ago Christians represented 20% of the population in the Middle East. Their numbers are now reduced to 2%.

Rabbi Dr. Analia Bortz: activist and combatant of anti-Semitism
Her message was simple-ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to prejudice, prejudice leads to hatred and hatred leads to violence. She favors dialogue, understanding and mutual respect. She looks at Nostra Aetate as an opportunity for redemption. She reminded us that Jews are mandated to improve the world and show mercy to others.

Dr. Alex Grobman: author and consultant for the America Israel Friendship League
He believes that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are still creating animosity towards Jews. He spoke of the hatred of America, Jews and Israel and warned about what can happen when evil reigns unchallenged. An environment of faith and education and a cultivation of friendship should be promoted by all people.

Report prepared by JOAN LURIE GOLDBERG and JUDY MINTZ
Rita Fishman and Felicia Anchor also attended the session