One of the most prevalent contemporary forms of anti-Semitism in the West is the attempt to delegitimize Israel as a Jewish homeland, Jewish Diplomat Oleg Ivanov, a member of the World Jewish Congress’ Jewish Diplomatic Corps (JDCorps), told the High-Level Forum on Global Anti-Semitism at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Wednesday.
The forum, considered a follow-up to the January 2015 UN General Assembly meeting on anti-Semitism, comprised a series of panel discussions featuring dignitaries, members of government and civil society, and private sector representatives.
Ivanov, a PhD candidate at UCLA, spoke at one of the panel discussions, saying, “This movement has appropriated traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes and assigned them to the nation of Israel. By attacking those who support Israel’s ongoing effort to live in peace with its neighbors, they have given new life and legitimacy to age-old anti-Semitic tropes.” In his address, Ivanov also shared some of the most recent examples of intimidation of students, both Jews and non-Jews, from BDS advocates on campus.
The forum was hosted by the diplomatic missions of Canada, Israel, the United States, and the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations.
Some 500 participants gathered at the UN headquarters for the day-long event, which included four interactive panels discussing different factors related to anti-Semitism around the world, including government responses to counter anti-Semitism, social media and the internet, civil society coalitions, and youth and education.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon opened the forum with a video address, in which he declared that anti-Semitism is “one of today’s greatest threats.”
At the forum, Israel's UN Ambassador Danny Danon demanded that media companies "stop providing a platform for hate sites." Ambassador Danon underlined again the clear link between the rise of social media and the rise of anti-Semitism. Danon told the forum that on Twitter, 63 percent of all anti-Semitic tweets are calls for violence against Jews. Unfortunately, only 1 in 10 are ever removed, Danon said.
U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power also addressed the forum, noting that, “Time and again throughout history, we have seen that when the human rights of Jews are violated, the rights of others are not far behind. In addition to being profoundly alarming in and of itself, this growing antisemitism has gone hand in hand with rising xenophobia and other forms of bigotry.”