For the first time since the establishment of the State of Israel, the government has approved a proposal by Amichai Chikli, Minister of Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism, to commemorate Diaspora Jews who were murdered in antisemitic attacks in the Diaspora.
The proposal, initiated by World Zionist Organization Chairman Yaakov Hagoel, calls for Israel to recognize its obligation as the state of the Jewish People to recognize Jewish non-citizens who were murdered in the Diaspora simply because they were Jews.
Under the proposal, which was based on a study by the Ruderman Family Foundation, a special committee is to be established to determine how those murder victims are to be commemorated.
The committee will be headed by Avi Cohen Scali, director-general of the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and Combatting Antisemitism and is expected to submit its conclusions to the Minister of Diaspora Affairs and Combating Anti-Semitism no later than September 1, 2023.
The proposal aims to grant recognition to the many families in the Diaspora who lost their loved ones in antisemitic attacks, as well as deepen the connection and mutual responsibility between the State of Israel and its citizens with the Jews of the Diaspora.
Hagoel said he began working on the proposal about a year ago, after he met with bereaved families from the Diaspora “and felt their great pain … This is an important and necessary step for a nation and a country that has struggled with antisemitism since its inception. Our brothers and sisters living in the Diaspora are an inseparable part of us and unfortunately they struggle every day with antisemitic events. We will work together with our partners to implement this decision, for the sake of all the People of Israel,” he said.
“This is a historic day for the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” said Shira Ruderman, Executive Director of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “With this decision, the State of Israel has proved, without a shadow of a doubt, that it is the state of the Jewish people, and that only through our unity as a people and through the mutual guarantee between us can we guarantee our security and prosperity.”
The committee will include representatives from the Israeli government and the national institutions whose mission will be to formulate recommendations to recognize those Jews who are not citizens of Israel and who were murdered in antisemitic attacks in the Diaspora.