Thank you, Mr. President,
In 2020, the world witnessed a major shift in diplomatic relations between Israel and some Arab countries. One of the most significant developments is the commitment taken by those countries to fight antisemitism and to develop initiatives to foster respect and mutual understanding between cultures.
One example is the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism by important institutions in the Kingdoms of Bahrain and Morocco, which both committed to combat antisemitism. The international Global Imams Council, comprised of over 1,000 imams across different denominations, also adopted the IHRA definition in October 2020.
Last October, during their historic first meeting in Germany, the foreign ministers of Israel and the UAE visited the Holocaust Memorial in central Berlin. “Whatever led to the murder of millions of innocent victims will not happen again,” UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed declared during the visit.
The World Jewish Congress commends these initiatives and urges all countries in the Middle East and beyond to implement similar ones. Through cultural exchanges, the recognition of a shared history and common values and fruitful cooperation, we will be able to create durable bonds between Israel and its neighbors, bringing more peace and stability to the region as a whole, as well as pave the way for more understanding between Jewish and Muslim communities.