Arutz Sheva attended on Sunday the opening of the “An End to Antisemitism” conference being held at the University of Vienna.
The five-day conference consists of 150 speakers from North America, Israel and Latin America, Australia and various European countries.
Among the speakers at the five-day conference: European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor; Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, former Chancellor and Chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Austria Christian Kern; French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy; Audrey Azoulay, Director-general of UNESCO, Katharina von Schnurbein, European Coordinator on Combating Anti-Semitism; Nathan Sharansky, Chairman of the Jewish Agency; Irwin Cotler, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada; Andrew Baker, American Jewish Committee and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and Prof. Dina Porat, Yad Vashem Chief Historian and the Head of the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry.
“Following the example of the handbook which was produced against hate speech and for the security of Jewish communities, we want to produce a second handbook which will include all the possible suggestions that will come up at this conference to put an end to anti-Semitism,” Dr. Ariel Muzicant, Vice President of the European Jewish Congress, told Arutz Sheva.
Philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy opined that anti-Semitism “will not be eradicated” but, he added, “it can be opposed, it can be resisted, it can be fought.”
“We, the Jews, the friends of the Jews and the friends of freedom in general – we can be stronger than anti-Semitism. This is the real goal: To be strong enough in order to be stronger than the strongest anti-Semitism,” added Lévy.
According to Dr. Kantor, anti-Semitism today is characterized by several phenomena: Islamic roots, anti-Israelism, anti-Semitic parties entering local parliaments, and the actual entry of these parties into governments – a phenomenon described by Kantor as dangerous.
His request of the academics at the conference, explained Dr. Kantor, is to find practical solutions to manage growing anti-Semitism.
Asked about the latest statement by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who said the Holocaust included "Jewish perpetrators", Dr. Muzicant replied, “I would ask Mr. Morawiecki if, when he says that Jews were also part of the perpetrators of the Holocaust, if he meant the people who were carrying the corpses from the gas chambers to the crematoria. If this is what he calls ‘perpetrators’, then he better stop saying such stupid things.”
Referring to the same issue, Dr. Kantor said that “it is time to present to European society the whole truth, positive and negative. I think it would be a good idea if I, as the President of the European Jewish Congress, and the Deputy Chairman of Yad Vashem, just promise to Israelis that we’ll clarify the situation and try to do it honestly, with both positive and negative aspects of the participation of Polish citizens in the Holocaust.”
Asked if Israel should be a part of the fight against anti-Semitism, Dr. Muzicant replied, “Israel should support us, but I think that this is a war that the Jews have to fight themselves in the Diaspora. Israel should support, but this is not Israel’s fight. This is the fight of the Jews for their own countries in which they live.”