Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told participants at the Conference on the Fight against Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism convened by Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Vienna, that it is important to fight traditional and modern forms of anti-Semitism.
“Warmest greetings from Jerusalem to the conference on the fight against anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. They are one,” the prime minister said in a video message to the participants.
“This is the first and most essential point of this conference. I thank Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, my friend, and the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union for convening such an important gathering in Vienna.
Chancellor Kurz, Sebastian, you are a true friend of Israel, a true friend of the Jewish people. I thank you for taking such a strong moral stand against anti-Semitism. You have been unyielding in your efforts to recognize history, to defend the truth and to combat antisemitism in Austria and throughout Europe.
Last week we marked the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht. You stated that such a date is a reminder of the “historic responsibility to fight all forms of anti-Semitism, be it the old kind or newly imported.”
This conference represents an opportunity to promote concrete steps to combat all forms of anti-Semitism.
The Holocaust did not begin, of course, in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. The Holocaust began with hateful words, burning books, shattering storefronts. The lesson of the Holocaust is that we must never forget the importance of fighting hate, barbarism and radicalism, and to do so early on when you can still stop bad things from getting worse.
Today, we are experiencing a resurgence of anti-Semitism worldwide. We once again hear false and dehumanizing allegations against Jews. We see attempts to kill or harm Jews in the name of radical ideologies. And since the establishment of the State of Israel, we face a new form of anti-Semitism: vicious efforts to demonize the Jewish State and deny the Jewish people the right to self-determination in our ancestral homeland, the Land of Israel.
When every nation is allowed to define its flag, its national anthem, its national identity, except for the Jewish people, this is anti-Semitism.
We must all join hands to combat traditional and modern forms of anti-Ssemitism. The first step to combat antisemitism is to define it. The Israeli government, along with seven other European governments, including Austria, has adopted the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. I urge all countries to adopt this definition and to increase their efforts to combat anti-Semitism and its modern manifestation, anti-Zionism. There is only one remedy for slander, and that is the truth.
I commend all of you that are gathered today as you stand up for the truth. I once again thank Chancellor Kurz for convening this momentous conference. We are fighting for our common future, our common civilization, and we shall win.”