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Jerusaem - Israeli Envoy Danon: ‘I Live With Anti-Semitism 24/7 At The United Nations’

Published on: January 31, 2016 02:34 PM
By: Jerusalem Post
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Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, speaks at the Conference for Fighting Anti-Semitism, at the Begin Center in Jerusalem, on January 31, 2016. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90 Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, speaks at the Conference for Fighting Anti-Semitism, at the Begin Center in Jerusalem, on January 31, 2016. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90

Jerusalem - “At the UN I live with anti-Semitism twenty four-seven,” Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon told attendees at a conference on combating BDS and anti-Semitism in Jerusalem on Sunday.

Addressing World Zionist Organization organized conference, Danon said that he felt the UN building to be a “different world, where BDS is felt every minute of every hour.”

“You can’t ignore BDS; it poses a potential for psychological damage for younger generations and convinces them to not do business with Israel, that Israel is another South Africa,” he said.

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“The world wants us to hang our head in shame, but we should walk with our chin up and my message to you is, when it comes to BDS, we have an obligation to tell the truth in the face of lies.”

Prior to Sunday’s gathering, the WZO released a new poll that it had commissioned which found that a quarter of Israelis are fearful that another Holocaust could occur, more than half are scared to go abroad and a significant majority hide anything that would identify them as Jewish when traveling.

The opinion poll, conducted by Midgam Consultants, also found that thirty four percent of respondents were more fearful than last year while twenty four percent believe that there is a chance that the state of Israel will cease to exist and was described as as “intensely worrying” by Yaakov HaGoel, the organization’s Vice Chairman and former Director for Combating anti-Semitism.

Sixty seven percent of Israelis fear for the safety of their coreligionists in the Diaspora, just over one percentage point more than the number who believe that European governments are failing to take effective action to combat rising hate. An additional fourteen percent stated that they do not believe that any action has been taken.

As to what European Jews should do in the face of increasing violence and an often overtly hostile atmosphere, thirty nine percent of Israelis stated that they believe that immigration here was the answer while eighty three percent stated that it was is incumbent on the Israeli government to spend money to aid olim in the job market.

FilE - Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour (R) walks away from Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon at the start of a U.N. Security Council meeting on the Middle East at U.N. headquarters in New York, January 26, 2016.  REUTERS/Mike Segar FilE - Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour (R) walks away from Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon at the start of a U.N. Security Council meeting on the Middle East at U.N. headquarters in New York, January 26, 2016.  REUTERS/Mike Segar

It is a common belief among many who work on Diaspora-Israeli issues that there is generally a lack of concern over the wider Jewish world among Israelis but the new data shows that it may not be the case, according to HaGoel.

“I didn’t know how much the Israeli community had empathy and a connection with the Diaspora,” he told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. “I was surprised to see how strong it was.”

However, “on the other hand, it is sad to see how many Israelis worry to travel abroad now.”

This fear mirrors that of Jews abroad which was recently summed up by Belgian Chief Rabbi Avraham Gigi recently when he said that “People understand there is no future for Jews in Europe.”

That statement was itself a continuation of a trend that has been intensifying for several years, with the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) already reporting in 2013 that a third of Jews polled had said that they refrained from wearing religious garb or Jewish symbols out of fear and 23 percent avoided attending Jewish events or going to Jewish venues.

A further seventy four percent of Jews have declined to report anti-Semitic incidents, HaGoel recalled, stating that the new poll indicates that there is a sense of “mutual responsibility” between Israelis and the Diaspora that must be cultivated.

“Until now we received solidarity from abroad - its the time to connect the Israeli community to the struggle against anti-Semitism. We can strengthen the partnership,” he declared, adding that among the initiatives being prepared was a new course being started in order to train Israelis to combat anti-Semitism online and that further programs were in the offing.

Just as Diaspora Jews have rallied for Israel in its times of crisis, it is now important for Israelis to return the favor and give their brethren abroad the courage to stand up, he continued, stating that the opposite of anti-Semitism is “Jewish pride.”

Anti-Semitic violence in Europe tracks events in the Middle East rather closely. It spiked in 2014 during Israel’s conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Synagogues were attacked by mobs, protesters called for Jews to be sent “to the gas” and in Brussels, a gunman opened fire at a Jewish museum, killing four.

Overall, anti-Semitic violence rose by 40 percent worldwide in 2014, according to figures provided by the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University.



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Read Comments (3)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 31, 2016 at 03:13 PM berylyoseph Says:

If antisemitism is part of nature, regardless of what Israel does, Why can't Israel use some more effective means against terrorists and their families, for the same price?

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 Jan 31, 2016 at 03:24 PM amerikaner Says:

that's because the UN is now the UNITED "ARAB" NATIONS - all together just to go against Israel.

It is amazing how ISIS is killing innocent people all over the world, BOKO HARAM is "burning" children alive, Muslim Jihadists are attacking innocent people and all the UN is worried about is the tiny Israeli apartments being built for more families.

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 Jan 31, 2016 at 04:21 PM We know, but does anyone else care? Says:

Waldheim an out and out Nazi once headed UN. UN schools harbored missiles in last war, and films showing children taught by UN show them teaching that all of Israel was stolen from their grandparents, teaching them that Jews hide behind trees and are to be killed per Koran, and that suicide makes hen a martyr if they murder some Jewish babies. Yet we in NY can't find a parking spot or get affordable housing while this building takes our money to slander Jews. Finally Unesco tried to pass a law claiming that the Wailing Wall is a Muslim religious symbol. Why does US let them occupy valuable and needed space in NY? They do nothing but bash Israel and have as yet to help countries with starving children other than ask for donations. Why have these countries not as yet been taught how to use their resources and feed themselves not need charity?Israel did all the hard work to develop the country that was sand, the Palestinians want to take it now. It is like" Chicken Little "in the story for children. He asked who would help him gather the harvest or help him bake the bread? No one would. But everyone agreed to help him eat it once all work was done.

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