(L to R) Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev with Foreign Minister Israel Katz, President Reuven Rivlin and Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the World Holocaust Forum
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20 November 2019
Today (Tuesday, 19 November 2019) Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev joined Israeli President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin, Foreign Minister Israel Katz and World Holocaust Forum Foundation President Dr. Moshe Kantor to announce the upcoming Fifth World Holocaust Forum, due to take place on 23 January 2020, at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.
Some 30 heads of state from around the world have already confirmed their attendance at the forum, including President of Russia H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of France H.E. Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of Germany H.E. Mr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of Italy H.E. Mr. Sergio Mattarella and President of Austria H.E. Mr. Alexander Van der Bellen. President Reuven Rivlin declared, "We will come together to think about how to pass on Holocaust remembrance to generations who will live in a world without survivors, and what steps we must take to ensure the safety and security of Jews – all around the world." The event, titled “Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Antisemitism,” is being organized by the World Holocaust Forum Foundation, in cooperation with Yad Vashem, under the auspices of the President of the State of Israel.
The press conference was held at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, where participants spoke about the importance of the event and the urgent need to fight against antisemitism and Holocaust denial. As the world prepares to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the message will be clear that antisemitism has no place in our global society.
"The Holocaust has become a paradigm to measure the human capacity to engage in radical, cruel and systematic evil, not only because of its unprecedented scope – the murder of six million Jewish men, women and children – but also because of the 'rationale"' behind Nazi ideology – the extermination of the Jewish people as a way to protect their own national interests and that of the 'pure German race. The ability of an advanced society to justify the eradication of an entire people and culture was supported and even encouraged by age-old antisemitic tropes, some of which are present in our post-Holocaust global society."
"Yad Vashem works tirelessly to increase the knowledge and awareness of the history of the Holocaust, not only to ensure that its memory continues to be relevant 75 years after the end of WWII, but also as a tool to fight antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, alarming phenomena that are on the rise around the world today," said Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev.
The event takes place against the background of the rise in hateful and violent expressions of antisemitism, especially in Europe. Given this alarming situation, efforts to educate about the dangers of antisemitism, racism and xenophobia and foster Holocaust commemoration and research have made this event more crucial and relevant than ever.
“Jewish life is once again under threat in Europe. It is under threat from the day-to-day harassment and attacks, on the streets, in schools, at universities, online, and even in their own homes. It has become so bad that the overwhelming majority of Jews in Europe no longer feel safe.”
“Antisemitism is a hatred that knows no boundaries, and has been adopted by multiple ideologies. Jews are relentlessly attacked by the Left, the Right, and the mainstream. This is another pivotal point in history where the leaders of the world have to stand up and act. Words are not enough, and I conceived of the World Holocaust Forum to be a place where we can create an action plan to aggressively fight back against antisemitism,” remarked Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the World Holocaust Forum.