In a passionate speech given at today’s Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Never is Now Summit, Chairman of The Jewish Agency for Israel Isaac Herzog warned that the next deadly antisemitic attack may very well be around the corner.
“If I were to stand here a year and a half ago and tell you that in the United States, it would become common for Jews to attend Shabbat services with armed guards and police vehicles guarding the entrance, you’d probably think I was distorting the truth. Most unfortunately, we all know this is the sad reality with which we are faced. The next deadly attack may very well be around the corner and the palpable fear of Jews all over the world is very real,” Herzog said.
Herzog has regularly interacted with a number of world leaders in recent months around the troubling rise of antisemitism, including British PM Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Austrian Chancellor Dr. Brigitte Bierlein, and others.
In his speech Thursday, Herzog laid out the The Jewish Agency’s three-tier approach to combat anti-Semtism, which was part of an organizational shift announced last month.
The first is increasing physical security to Jewish communities worldwide as part of The Jewish Agency’s Security Assistance Fund, which provided the Halle Synagogue in Germany with the fortified door that prevented the armed gunman from entering during Yom Kippur services. The next tier, advocacy for legislation when it comes to antisemitism, includes lobbying countries around the world to recognize the official definition of antisemitism and a call for governments to appoint an official in local communities specifically geared to combat antisemitism. And lastly, a focus on educational initiatives.
“On the one hand, we must work with governments to ensure that all students learn about Jewish history, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, but at the same time we must use cutting-edge social media tools, and creative grassroots campaigns, in order to educate outside of formal frameworks,” Herzog added.