Thank you, Mr. President,
On the eve of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, I woke up to the news that another violent anti-Semitic incident had occurred on the sidelines of yet another Neo-Nazi protest. Indeed, masked assailants hurled rocks and bottles at a Jewish restaurant, injuring the owner who was reportedly called “a Jewish pig” and told to “get out of Germany”.
As in similar instances of such attacks and protests, familiar questions immediately came to mind: how is it possible that such incidents are once again taking place in Europe today? How can a continent that plunged into the depths of evil a few decades ago face similar ills this present day? How can individuals still be targeted because they belong to a minority community? How can these attacks not receive universal condemnation? In this regard, we applaud the forceful response from Chancellor Angela Merkel, just a few days ago.
While there are no simple answers to these questions, it is paramount to recognize that neo-Nazis and other extreme groups do not only pose a threat to Jews and other minorities, but are an attack on all the founding values and ideals that define our modern democracies, and must be dealt with as such. As stated by World Jewish Congress President, Ronald S. Lauder: “Nazis and neo-Nazis can never be anything but a scourge of and on humanity, and they certainly must not ever be tolerated”. We call on the Human Rights Council to take strong action in this regard.