President's blog

A most productive meeting

04 April 2014

The WJC’s Executive Committee meeting in Paris this week, as always, was an important and momentous occasion – even more so because it happened at a historical moment in France.

The Executive expressed great appreciation, in the form of a resolution, to President François Hollande and his government for their strong fight against anti-Semitism. In particular, we praised the actions taken by French Interior Minister Manuel Valls, to seek bans against performances by anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala for incitement against Jews. Valls was appointed as the new French prime minister by Hollande on Monday.

The refusal of the French government to accept the outrageous hate speech M’bala M’bala peddles in the guise of humor is critical in the fight against the growing wave of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial that seems to be sweeping through Europe today. M’bala M’bala’s humor is not only not funny. It is disgusting and revolting and, above all, it incites hatred. We thank the French government for making that clear to the world and for stopping it in its tracks.

Our resolution on proscribing hate speech in France was not the only notable decision coming out of the meeting.

At the Executive Committee meeting.

In Argentina, our call on the government to rescind the memorandum of understanding it signed last year with Iran – which is held responsible for the despicable 1994 bombing attack on the AMIA community center, which left 85 people dead – drew headlines. We sincerely hope that the government will heed our and the Argentine Jewish community's call and rescind the memorandum. Justice cannot be achieved when the perpetrator of a crime is allowed to dictate or manipulate the process. 

On the crisis in Ukraine, we adopted a balanced, nonpartisan resolution that all sides of the conflict could live with, urging all parties to ensure that anti-Semitic and anti-minority incitement is not tolerated and that “the ethnic, cultural, religious, and linguistic expression of all minorities is protected.”

The Executive also backed the Hungarian community in its quarrel with the government over the whitewashing of Hungary’s World War II collaboration with the Nazis, and issued a revised and updated report on neo-Nazism in Europe.

Altogether, it was a productive and useful meeting. I look forward to sharing more important WJC news with you soon.

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