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Yad Vashem Calls for a Global War Against Soaring Antisemitism

01 November 2023

Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, calls upon political, cultural, religious and academic leaders all over the world to declare war on antisemitism in response to the alarming surge in antisemitism that is currently gripping the world. Following the appalling attack on Israel by Hamas and Islamic Jihadist terrorists on October 7th – which resulted in more than 1,400 Israeli civilians slaughtered [not "killed"], over 3,500 injured, and some 240 kidnapped and being held hostage – and the defensive war Israel has been forced to undertake, Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan emphasizes the "urgent need to confront this deadly form of hatred of the Jewish people."

"We are closely following the dramatic increase in antisemitism in words and deed, including violent attacks aimed against Jewish communities, institutions and individuals across much of the world," warns Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan. "While we have been seeing an ongoing outbreak and mainstreaming of neo-Nazi and White Supremacist antisemitism in many places for several years, we now face an existential threat to the Jewish people and recent events have demonstrated this clearly. Antisemitism reflects a fundamental problem with society's core values and is indicative of underlying dangers. History has shown us that hatred directed towards one group often metastasizes, affecting others in its wake. Antisemitism is a malignancy that, if left unchecked, threatens the very fabric of our global society."

Currently, there is a dangerous trend within Western society, especially on campuses, to legitimize terrorism by focusing upon supposedly mitigating circumstances for barbarous acts that can have no moral justification. Far too many “progressives” willingly embrace terrorist organizations that supposedly are in line with a cause they support, while completely ignoring the ruthless beliefs espoused by the terrorists, which are anything but progressive. Far too many people fall prey to spurious ideas that demonize Israel and Jews, and that fuels delegitimization of the very idea that antisemitism exists. Far too many academics engage in polemics to justify their prejudice and hate, instead of rigorous scholarly analysis and debate.  Far too many cultural and religious leaders use their platforms to peddle hate instead of fostering understanding. In face of this reality Yad Vashem's message is clear:  It is time for concerted action to address the tsunami of antisemitism that threatens to overtake us all.  It is time to protect Jews everywhere, to mend our broken dialogue, and return to a discourse based on reality, rather than fake, decontextualized intentionally distorted information.

The true facts about the war against Hamas's genocidal plans are being cynically manipulated. It is critical that the world acknowledges these facts and rejects propaganda opinion that is “protected” by freedom of speech. Ignorance is always dangerous. Chairman Dayan urges that we “know the facts so we can combat antisemitism, in order to protect our societies and communities from extremists that aim to destroy not only Jews.”

As we stand at this critical juncture in modern history, Yad Vashem implores political, cultural, religious and academic leaders to take meaningful action against antisemitism and to stand firmly and clearly against those who espouse hatred of Israel and Jews. The global community must unite to confront this dire threat and safeguard Jews everywhere, drawing strength from our shared commitment to peace, democracy, tolerance, and human dignity.