Leading up to International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the World Jewish Congress collaborated with numerous organizations and UN Missions in Geneva to raise awareness of the escalating antisemitism and inaugurated an exhibit paying tribute to Holocaust survivors.
On Wednesday, the WJC, in conjunction with the European Coalition for Israel, convened the Emergency Summit on Global Antisemitism at the United Nations Office in Geneva, convening diplomats and religious leaders for an open dialogue on the current surge in antisemitism.
The summit drew over 80 participants, including ambassadors and diplomats from approximately two dozen countries, alongside faith leaders representing Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians. All expressed concern over the global uptick in antisemitism following the October 7th terrorist attack by Hamas. They also exchanged ideas on effective strategies to combat these trends.
The event concluded with a panel featuring Ambassador Meirav Eilon Shahar, Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Katharina Stasch, Permanent Representative of Germany to the UN in Geneva, and former Prime Minister of Slovakia Eduard Heger. They deliberated on governmental and diplomatic approaches to counter antisemitism in international forums.
Later that day, the WJC, together with the Gamaraal Foundation, the Permanent Missions of Switzerland and Israel to the UN in Geneva, and the Delegation of the European Union to the UN in Geneva, launched an exhibition titled "The Last Swiss Holocaust Survivors." The exhibition, situated by the shores of Lake Geneva and near the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, features portraits honoring survivors.
Elizaveta Zaidman, WJC’s International Affairs Officer, presided over the event. She emphasized that antisemitism persists as a form of bigotry, underscoring that despite the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp 79 years ago, "the forces that brought about the Holocaust are still present."