'Unprecedented' UN report on anti-Sermitism

Landmark UN report details right-wing, left-wing, and Islamic anti-Semitism.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

United Nations Headquarters
United Nations Headquarters

The United Nations released an interim report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief on the "Combatting anti-Semitism to Eliminate Discrimination and Intolerance Based on Religion or Belief." This report to the Human Rights Council follows recent addresses by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on anti-Semitism and religious freedom.

The report summarizes that anti-Semitic violence, discrimination, and expressions of hostility are "serious obstacles to the enjoyment of the right to freedom of religion or belief," and the "frequency of antisemitic incidents appears to be increasing in magnitude" as does the "prevalence of anti-Semitic attitudes and the risk of violence against Jewish individuals and sites " is significant. If left unchecked by governments, anti-Semitism "poses risks not only to Jews, but also to members of other minority communities."

The report has a number of key findings, including the rise of anti-Semitism from three main sources: "growing use of antisemitic tropes by white supremacists including neo-Nazis and members of radical Islamist groups"; increase in "'left-wing' antisemitism [that] employ anti-Semitic narratives or tropes in the course of expressing anger at policies or practices of the Government of Israel"; and "notes claims that the objectives, activities and effects of the Boycott Divestement Sanctions (BDS) movement are fundamentally anti-Semitic." The report notes that in the US in 2017, 58 percent (1,749) of religiously-motivated bias "were driven by anti-Semitic bias."Governments also enact laws and policies that restrict Jewish practice, including limiting kosher slaughter methods or barring Jews from political participation in higher office.

The report identifies steps that government, civil society organizations, and the media can take to limit expressions of anti-Semitism. These include using the "Working Definition of Anti-Semitism" that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance drafted in 2016, investing in education and training, and requiring governments to acknowledge that "anti-Semitism poses a threat to stability and security, and that antisemitic incidents require prompt, unequivocal responses from leaders," with party leaders "promptly, clearly, and consistently reject[ing] manifestations of anti-Semitism within their parties and in the public discourse."

In response to the report, Israel's ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, commented that "we welcome the release of this unprecedented report on the subject of anti-Semitism. The report reflects the organizational change towards Israel. The assertion that the BDS movement encourages anti-Semitism is an important UN statement. As I have said many times, anti-Semitism has no place in our society, and must be denounced everywhere and from every platform."