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World leaders at Jerusalem conference condemn rising anti-Semitism

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World leaders at Jerusalem conference condemn rising anti-Semitism

By Jeffrey Heller

 

2020-01-23T141615Z_2_LYNXMPEG0M1J2_RTROPTP_3_HOLOCAUST-MEMORIAL-AUSCHWITZ-ISRAEL.JPG

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin speaks at the World Holocaust Forum marking 75 years since the liberation of the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz, at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial centre in Jerusalem January 23, 2020. Abir Sultan/Pool via REUTERS

 

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - World leaders voiced alarm at resurgent anti-Semitism on Thursday as they gathered at Israel's national Holocaust Memorial to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz.

 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence also castigated Iran in their speeches to the World Holocaust Forum, accusing it of rabid anti-Semitism and of seeking Israel's destruction.

 

Leaders of Russia and France looked closer to home in lamenting the killing of six million Jews in Europe during World War Two by the Nazis and vowing to combat rising anti-Semitism.

 

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier told the conference at the Yad Vashem memorial centre that he bowed his head in "deepest sorrow (for) the worst crime in the history of humanity" committed by his countrymen.

 

"I wish I could say that we Germans have learnt from history once and for all. But I cannot say that when hatred is spreading," he said.

 

Steinmeier spoke in English rather than in German, a choice made, his office said, to avoid causing any distress to Holocaust survivors in the audience.

 

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu both accused Iran of being anti-Semitic as world leaders gathered in Jerusalem to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Joe Davies reports.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin said it was vital to oppose xenophobia and anti-Semitism everywhere.

 

"You just said that it's not known where anti-Semitism ends," Putin told Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at a meeting before the conference convened.

 

"Unfortunately we do know this -- Auschwitz is its end-result."

 

Putin later met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied West Bank. In remarks to reporters, Abbas said he and Putin needed to discuss "regional issues", including U.S. President Donald Trump's long-awaited Middle East peace plan and Israeli proposals "to annex Palestinian lands".

 

A global survey https://global100.adl.org/about/2019 by the U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League in November found that global anti-Semitic attitudes had increased, and significantly so in Eastern and Central Europe. It found that large percentages of people in many European countries think Jews talk too much about the Holocaust.

 

More than one million people, most of them Jews, were killed at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. Israel hailed the memorial conference, attended by more than 40 world leaders, as the biggest international gathering in its history.

 

IRAN DENOUNCED

In his speech to the forum, Netanyahu denounced Iran as "the most anti-Semitic regime on the planet" and vowed that Israel would always defend itself against those out to destroy it.

 

Netanyahu has long accused Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, an allegation it denies.

 

Pence, in his comments, described Iran as the one country "that denies the Holocaust as a matter of state policy and threatens to wipe Israel off the map". After the conference, he visited Judaism's holy Western Wall in Jerusalem with Netanyahu.

 

Other guests at the commemoration included French President Emmanuel Macron and Britain's Prince Charles.

 

Warning of the "dark shadow of anti-Semitism", Macron met French survivors of the Holocaust at a memorial near Jerusalem to some 76,000 Jews arrested in wartime France and transported to death camps such as Auschwitz, where most died.

 

One notable absentee from Thursday's commemoration was President Andrzej Duda of Poland, who turned down his invitation because he was not allowed to speak at the conference unlike wartime victors the United States, Russia, Britain and France, or Germany.

 

Polish leaders have also been angered by comments made by Putin last month suggesting Poland shared responsibility for the war. Poland, which was invaded first by Nazi Germany and then by Soviet forces in September, 1939, sees itself as a major victim of the war, in which it lost a fifth of its population.

 

Poland will host its own ceremony at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum on Jan. 27, as it does every year.

 

(Additional reporting by Justyna Pawlak in Warsaw, Darya Korsunskaya in Jerusalem and Sabine Siebold in Berlin; Editing by Gareth Jones and Catherine Evans)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-01-24

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It was said that “We learn from history that we do not learn from history.” “To be independent of public opinion is the first formal condition of achieving anything great.” “What experience and history teaches us is that people and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.”...

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6 hours ago, Mick501 said:

Never hear "semitism" mentioned any other time than with the prefix "anti."    Are the jews the only group of people on the planet with a specific word for people who hate them?   Anyone aware of any other group of people?

Yeah I've never understood that either. What is so special about Jews or Catholics or Muslims. Seems to be the epitome of the me me culture, supported by my business interactions, infrequently I hasten to add thankfully, over the years. Avoid any business dealings if at all possible.

There were many millions of people exterminated during our dark past that weren't of that particular faith including homosexuals, the disabled and enemies, apparently, of the state.  Yet we are all made to feel collectively guilty about something we had no part in.

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On 1/24/2020 at 6:36 AM, webfact said:

A global survey https://global100.adl.org/about/2019 by the U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League in November found that global anti-Semitic attitudes had increased, and significantly so in Eastern and Central Europe.

This data is a result of 9,056 interviews among citizens age 18 and over, across 18 countries. 

Well there you have it. Over nine thousand people say antisemitism had increased, so it must be true.

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18 hours ago, rhyddid said:

Hypocrisy at its best ! No one condemn the genocide Zionist are doing against Palestinians !

There is no genocide of Palestinians but retaliation when attacks come from them. Those terrorists could have had 80% of the land as Palestine in the 1930's, their hatred of Jews made them say no, and ever since. Palestinians have never been interested in two states, only one- their own.

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Why is it always 6 million jews killed and not "approximately 6 million" or "about 6 million" ?

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3 hours ago, Orton Rd said:

could have had 80% of the land as Palestine

If it had been 100% it could have been acceptable.

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2 minutes ago, Elfin said:

Why is it always 6 million jews killed and not "approximately 6 million" or "about 6 million" ?

Why is it that anti Semites obsess endlessly about the holocaust.Why are they always anxious to make the holocaust a run of the mill event? Why - as in this thread - are there those who question the existence of anti semitism or why the Jews have a particular fear.Why does any discussion of the holocaust attract those who prefer to talk about genocidal Zionists?

 

Probably it's because the old fashioned Jew hating race hate is out of favour these days even among anti Semites.Thus the matter is usually approached sideways often through the prism of Palestinian rights, talk of the Jewish global lobby, references to George Soros etc.Unfortunately many parts of the Left as well as the usual racists have swallowed this poison to the extent of sympathising with the most reactionary and violent Islamicist movements.

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The Balfour declaration of 1917 drawn in haste by the French and the British with little knowledge of the socio-cultural aspects of all the parties concerned, is cited by many as the source of of the never ending issues with Israel and it's ennemies. And it has nothing to do with anti Semitism. Plain colonialisation mess and heritage, as usually in such cases...

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On 1/24/2020 at 9:39 AM, rhyddid said:

Hypocrisy at its best ! No one condemn the genocide Zionist are doing against Palestinians !

That is because there is no genocide going on .

 

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2 hours ago, Elfin said:

Why is it always 6 million jews killed and not "approximately 6 million" or "about 6 million" ?

I am sure that most people would be aware that the figure wasnt exactly 6 million .

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2 hours ago, jayboy said:

Why is it that anti Semites obsess endlessly about the holocaust.Why are they always anxious to make the holocaust a run of the mill event? Why - as in this thread - are there those who question the existence of anti semitism or why the Jews have a particular fear.Why does any discussion of the holocaust attract those who prefer to talk about genocidal Zionists?

 

Probably it's because the old fashioned Jew hating race hate is out of favour these days even among anti Semites.Thus the matter is usually approached sideways often through the prism of Palestinian rights, talk of the Jewish global lobby, references to George Soros etc.Unfortunately many parts of the Left as well as the usual racists have swallowed this poison to the extent of sympathising with the most reactionary and violent Islamicist movements.

Some fair questions.   Wonder how they would be answered from the Jewish point of view?   And why, throughout history, has pretty much everyone tried to annihilate the Jews?  Is there something that could be done differently to change these behaviours?   I really don't know or pay a great deal of attention so they are just observations and there may well be rational explanation.

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34 minutes ago, Mick501 said:

Some fair questions.   Wonder how they would be answered from the Jewish point of view?   And why, throughout history, has pretty much everyone tried to annihilate the Jews?  Is there something that could be done differently to change these behaviours?   I really don't know or pay a great deal of attention so they are just observations and there may well be rational explanation.

Here's a reasonable summary of the evolution of anti Semitism which at least in part answers your question.

 

https://theconversation.com/antisemitism-how-the-origins-of-historys-oldest-hatred-still-hold-sway-today-87878

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