Special Message from the Israeli-Jewish Congress on International Holocaust Day, January 27th 2015

Dear Mr. Rapahel Cohen,

Today, 27th January, the world is coming together to observe International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year of course also marks 70 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

We first and foremost pay our respect and honor the memory of 6 million Jews who murdered in the Holocaust, including an estimated 1.1 million Auschwitz-Birkenau alone.

Regrettably, 70 years since end of this most horrific chapter in Europe’s and the Jewish peoples history, anti-Semitism across many parts of Europe has once again surged to levels unprecedented since the end of the Holocaust.

During last week's historic United Nations General Assembly Special Gathering in New York on the Rise of Anti-Semitism, which The Israeli-Jewish Congress was honoured to attend and participate in, including presenting our Blueprint on Combating Anti-Semitism in Europe, Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, remarked in his address: 70 years after the end of the Holocaust "the world pledged 'Never Again' ... but here we are again."

We believe that today, time has long passed to stop just talking about anti-Semitism. Mere words are not enough and great expressions of sympathy, as important as they are, are just not sufficient. Today it is time for action!

To this end, following extensive consultations with Jewish leaders such as yourself and with Jewish communities across Europe, who are of course at the front-line of global anti-Semitism, we are proposing the following 10 point Blueprint for combating anti-Semitism Europe. An earlier version of this Blueprint was first presented at the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Global Forum on Combatting Anti-Semitism in May 2013 and has been updated since following further meetings with Jewish leaders and officials from Europe and Israel, including at multiple IJC delegations in Israel and also taking into account various international developments since that period.

We are enclosing a copy of the Blueprint, which has been published in the Jerusalem Post today, Jan. 27th : http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/A-blueprint-to-combat-anti-Semitism-in-Europe-389044.

As a most respect leader of your Jewish community, we of course most welcome any further input and feedback you may have, as we continue to move forward together to implement the action items referred to in the Blueprint.

In addition, we also enclose a copy of the Joint Statement Against Anti-Semitism signed by over 40 countries participating in at the UN General Assembly special conference on anti-Semitism, including all the Member States of the EU: http://embassies.gov.il/un/NewsAndEvents/Pages/Joint-statement-following-the-Informal-meeting-of-the-General-Assembly-to-address-concerns-of-a-rise-in-Antisemitic-violenc.aspx

In view of the fact that your country was also one of the signatories to this historic statement, we strongly suggest that you refer to the action items in this document (in addition to those proposed in the IJC Blueprint) when discussing possible strategies and proposals on combating anti-Semitism with officials and lawmakers in your countries.

The Israeli-Jewish Congress, as your partner and voice in Israel, always stands ready and willing to help in any way possible.

This International Holocaust Day let us honour the memory of the victims by reaffirming our unwavering commitment to do everything in our joint power to fight this pernicious anti-Semitism, and together, ensure a strong, thriving Jewish community in Europe.

Yours sincerely,

IJC Team