February 17, 2009 — New York — An AJC delegation participated in The London Conference on Combating Anti-Semitism. The conference, held February 16-17, was organized and hosted by the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism, and co-hosted by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the UK-based Community Security Trust. More than 125 parliamentarians from around the world, and 75 nongovernmental experts, gathered for intensive discussions on the growing global threat of antisemitism.
“What was most striking in the deliberations was the broad consensus that anti-Semitism has reached new heights and poses a clear and present danger,” said AJC Executive Director David A. Harris. Harris served as a consultant to the parliamentarians on their talks on the international arena and chaired a session on internet hate.
“This was an important, indeed historic, gathering,” said Harris. “Much credit is due to John Mann, the British Member of Parliament who spearheaded the conference. He and his colleagues have demonstrated a remarkably strong determination to create a broad front to combat anti-Semitism. They have shown courage, principle and perseverance. There were many high points of the impressively-organized conference, including the stirring keynote address by Franco Frattini, Italy’s foreign minister, who underscored his country’s resolve to fight anti-Semitism wherever it rears its ugly head.”
The gathering explored anti-Semitism from various vantage points, including in public discourse, the international political realm, and the internet, as well as discussing fact gathering, data collection, and the role of law enforcement.
The AJC delegation, all of whom had advisory roles in the deliberations, included Rabbi Andrew Baker, AJC’s Director of International Jewish Affairs and the Special Representative on anti-Semitism for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); Emanuele Ottolenghi, Director of AJC’s Transatlantic Institute in Brussels; and Ken Stern, AJC’s anti-Semitism expert.