Jerusalem, Israel - Jan. 31, 2023 - Israeli Minister for Diaspora Affairs and Social Equality Amichai Chikli convened a session in the Knesset to discuss the Ministry of Affairs's annual report on antisemitism on the afternoon of January 30, 2023.
MK Chikli opened the meeting with brief remarks with Biblical references and shared graphed highlights from the report on slides shown on a large screen to illustrate the numbers in the findings reported. The session was conducted with both Hebrew and English speakers contributing.
Various current Knesset Members attended briefly, but not all were able to speak due to time restraints. MK Amit Halevi was one of the first to give remarks. Another was Boaz Bismuth who mentioned his early encounter with antisemitism as a young teen learning Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice with Shylock as a lead character. Bismuth participated with Israeli President Isaac Herzog at the European Nations Parliament commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance held last Thursday.
One prominent opening speaker, Canadian legal expert Professor Irwin Cotler emphasized antisemitism did not die in Auschwitz.
NGO's Dr. Gerald Steinberg; Dan Diker, new President of Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs; Avital Leibovich, Director of the American Jewish Committee in Israel; Jewish Federations of North America's Rebecca Caspi; Nurit Ben, new CEO Combat Antisemitism Movement; Charles Asher Small, ISGAP; and David Weinberg were among the speakers from leading organizations involved with monitoring antisemitism called on to speak in the Knesset's Negev Hall.
The meeting was broadcast live and on Zoom with International participation. Among those speakers, was Rabbi Menachem Margolin from Europe, who noted that the EU Parliament was half empty for the Holocaust Memorial address by President Herzog; Adam Lehman represented Hillel in the US; and Jeremy Liebler joined talking from Melbourne, Australia.
Also attending and speaking were social media leaders in the online battle against antisemitism, they included Tomer Aldubi, Saskia Pantell, and Emily Schrader.
The Knesset session ran overtime, with the last speakers rushing to make their comments and main points. However, all agreed, there needs to be unity in response to growing threats of antisemitism around the world.