'Jews must be free to live proud Jewish lives wherever they are'

Israeli President addresses Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism in Sweden.

Tags: Isaac Herzog
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Isaac Herzog's address (via satellite
Isaac Herzog's address (via satellite
Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

On Wednesday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog participated virtually in the Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism in Malmö, Sweden. Among participants at the conference, hosted by the Swedish Government, are King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, European Council President Charles Michael, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder, European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor, and Holocaust survivors.

Speaking live from the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, President Herzog called on the world to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism: “The IHRA has become a widely-accepted reference point in the fight against antisemitism and Holocaust denial, with over thirty countries having adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism, and I call upon all nations to do so.”

President Herzog further explained the difference between criticism of Israel and antisemitism: “As a true democrat and as former head of the Israeli Parliamentary Opposition in the Knesset, I not only support but insist on the right of any citizen or group to criticize any government on its policies. But when criticism of a particular Israeli policy mutates into questioning Israel’s very right to exist—this is not diplomacy, this is demonization and antisemitism, because Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish People.”

President Herzog called for international cooperation to fight antisemitism and stressed the need to remove antisemitic content from social media: “Antisemitism is an infusion of hate into pockets of ignorance, a force of destruction which wears down any virtue in its path… It will require not only improving Holocaust education in schools, such as the outstanding program of Yad Vashem, but also working aggressively on social media, including with and confronting social media companies to ensure that hateful incitement is quickly removed.”

President Herzog concluded by stressing: “The path we set today is critical for the future of European Jews and communities, and for the future of Europe as a modern, tolerant society. Jews must be free to live full, open and proud Jewish lives wherever they are. They must be safe.”