ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF
ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS
GFCA Conference 2013 videos
Opening Session 28 May 2013
Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism
Source: MFA, 5-28-13
Posted by bonniekgoodman on May 28, 2013
As Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel, I thank you for gathering here tonight in Jerusalem from more than 40 countries, to send a strong message against antisemitism.
I am encouraged by the holding of the Global Forum. I believe that the fact that we are all here today – not only representatives of Israeli society, but also representatives from all over the world, to fight antisemitism – can make a difference.
Israel, as the homeland of the Jewish people, has of course a special connection to the issue of antisemitism. But antisemitism is not only an Israeli problem or just a Jewish problem. It is foremost the problem of every society in which it is allowed to manifest itself. History has taught us that for evil to prevail over good, it is enough that decent people stay silent and complacent while the immoral and hateful few gain power.
That is why it is so important that governments, parliaments, international organizations and civil society around the world adopt a zero-tolerance approach towards antisemitism.
Israel is of course part of this battle, but the international community needs to work together in order to change the current reality.
In recent years we see the rise of political parties who no longer shy from promoting racist and extremist policies. Neo-Nazis are again marching the streets of European capitals; synagogues and other communal Jewish buildings need to add more and more security measures, and in certain neighborhoods it is not safe to walk around wearing a yarmulke. 2012 saw the culmination of this with the terrible massacre at a Jewish school in Toulouse. This can no longer be characterized as sporadic or rare events. It is time we look this problem in the eye and call by its name – rise in blatant antisemitism.
The classic old malady of antisemitism has metamorphosed into “modern antisemitsm” and has spread to new audiences. Some leaders of Muslim countries, Iran in the lead, and some heads of Muslim communities in Europe, are now exploiting this twisted old hate to deflect criticism from internal problems to “blaming the collective Jew for all that is wrong”. New media is used to spread ancient venom. This is especially tragic when occurring in Muslim society, where Jews and Muslims used to live for centuries in relative harmony.
Anti-Israeli rhetoric and propaganda in the Arab world is all too often nothing but age old antisemitism without even a new veneer. And in our immediate environment the thinking of more than a generation of Palestinian schoolchildren is being poisoned by the hateful and malicious educational and media brainwashing against Israel and Jews.
In addition we see growing sophistication of some antisemites, who hide their hatred behind extreme anti-Israeli rhetoric. They hide behind proclamations of anti-Zionism, opposition to Israeli policies and so called “legitimate criticism” and claim vocally that they are not antisemitic.
We should perhaps fear the “closet racists” more than the skinheads marching with their swastika flags.
Of course Israel is willing to accept criticism of its acts, decisions and policies, but criticism is only legitimate as long it does not single out Israel for different treatment and does not delegitimize our existence and right to exist.
This is what is happening, for example, today in Tunisia where the draft constitution includes a clause equating Zionism with racism and in effect criminalizing any contacts or cooperation with Israel. Of course there is no such clause relating to any other country.
And in Iran the situation is of course much worse. Its leaders openly deny the Holocaust, brainwash their youth with hatred. They do not only call for the destruction of the Jewish state but they go to great lengths to develop a military nuclear apparatus which would be a danger to the region and to the world but clearly would be specifically dangerous for Israel.
Such a situation is clearly unacceptable and intolerable, yet despite various rounds of sanctions and pressures, the international community has not risen to the challenge of an Iran with a nuclear vision and a program of implementation. And all too often we see an uninterested or even a forgiving attitude towards Iranian Holocaust denial and antisemitic statements by its leaders, including its president who feels at home in too many countries around the world.
But it is not just in the Arab and Moslem world where Israel suffers from official and institutionalized discrimination. We face such singling out also in the Human Rights Council in Geneva where, despite the lofty notions of universality and equitable treatment, Israel is not a member of any regional grouping and it is the only country which has an agenda item, the infamous item 7, specifically to condemn its so called violations of human rights.
While all along countries such as North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Yemen and others, not known for their protection of minorities, freedom of the press and other political and civil rights, are never or are only rarely condemned. But numbers speak louder than words – 46 of 103 country related resolutions and 6 of the 19 Special Sessions, since the establishment of the Human Rights Council, were against Israel. Can such a miserable record be defined as anything other than antisemitism in the guise of anti-Israelism?
Exactly because of this built in discrimination, Israel decided last year to freeze its contacts and cooperation with the Human Rights Council. Since then many countries have asked us to change our policy. And I ask myself: Is Israel expected to agree to being discriminated against or should a change in our policy come about only through the ending of discrimination? The answer is clear and after much deliberation I have recently agreed to diplomatic engagement with the Council and major actors in the international community to see if we can arrive at understandings and guarantees that will enable our return to the Council while ensuring that fair play and international standards are applied towards Israel.
I have outlined some, but not all, of the problems Israel faces. Yet we must not despair. Not all is bleak. The Jewish people have today many courageous friends of all religions. Religious and political leaders have come out with strong condemnations to antisemitic incidents and more societies are admitting publicly the existence of antisemitism with this being the first crucial step in countering it.
And Israel also needs the assistance of all who stand up against antisemitism in combating the new antisemitism – the pathological hatred and opposition towards the very existence and legitimacy of Israel, which is becoming the most dangerous form of antisemitism.
So I thank you again for gathering for this Global Forum in hope of making a difference. antisemites throughout history tried to isolate the Jews, to make them feel alone. Your coming here this evening sends them a strong message: Jews, Jewish communities and Israel, the one and only homeland of the Jewish people, are not alone and shall never be alone again.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on May 28, 2013
I commend all the delegates attending the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism.
There were two myths about antisemitism. The first was that after the Holocaust antisemitism would disappear. And the second was that with the creation of the Jewish state, antisemitism would disappear. That didn’t happen. Neither one of them. In fact, the antisemites took a respite after the Holocaust, but that’s all it was. It was a brief intermission.
And what was unfashionable is now becoming fashionable again. After the rise of Israel, what is fashionable today is to say, “Well, I don’t hate Jews, I just don’t think they should have a state.” Or, effectively, that their state is an illegitimate one that doesn’t have the right to exist.
To further this attack on the Jewish state, three arguments are put forward by the antisemites all the time, and they are false all the time.
The first is that Israel is guilty of war crimes. We, who fight war criminals with measured means, whose cities are attacked by terrorists who fire from built-up areas and try to pinpoint the rocketeers – we are accused of war crimes by the war criminals. That is one facet of the vilification that we experience.
The second is that we are expansionists, we don’t want peace, we never agree to compromise. That’s patently false. The State of Israel repeatedly has offered concessions, has made concessions for peace that no other people, no other state has made in history. I don’t know of any other case in which the victor made concessions in order to achieve peace, but we’ve done it again and again.
We are prepared to compromise for peace – for a genuine peace. This is our most reverent hope, to live in peace with our neighbors. It is not reciprocated as much as we want, and recently it is not reciprocated at all. We can only hope that it will change.
The third argument is that we are violators of human rights. Did you hear that? Israel, the one country in the vast expanse that recognizes the rights of everyone – women, minorities, every individual – who have access to the best court system in the world. Israel has a free press and a vibrant democracy, and Israel is accused of violating human rights. This is when in our neighborhood hundreds of people are killed daily, massacred daily in neighboring regimes.
These three vilifications – that Israel is guilty of war crimes, that it doesn’t want peace, it wants to continue expansionist policies, and that we are guilty of violating human rights – are part and parcel of the antisemitic campaign that is leveled against the Jewish people and their state.
That’s by way of saying: You have a lot of tasks before you and I hope you’re up to it. I’m sure that you believe there is only one remedy for the slander, and that’s the truth. And I encourage you to fight and win the battle of truth.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on May 28, 2013
Source: Jerusalem Post, 5-28-13
At Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem, Netanyahu says anti-Semitism has “come back in fashion” in the form of criticism against Israel; Elkin: Jews are “not alone and shall never be alone again….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on May 28, 2013
Source: Times of Israel, 5-28-13
In the run-up to the 4th Conference of the Global Forum for Combating anti-Semitism, the lineup of speakers sparked controversy, with some experts bashing organizers for inviting dignitaries from countries with questionable records on the fight against anti-Jewish activity.
More than 500 delegates, from over 50 countries and representing six religions, gathered in Jerusalem, with the declared goal to “develop a specific and proactive plan of response” to increasing anti-Semitism, according to organizers….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on May 28, 2013
Source: Arutz Sheva, 5-28-13
Anti-Semitism is not just an Israeli or a Jewish problem, but is first and foremost a problem for any society in which it is allowed to manifest itself, Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin said on Tuesday. Speaking at the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on May 28, 2013
Source: MFA, 5-23-13
Source: MFA, 4-22-13
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs will hold the 4th International Conference of the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism, co-hosted by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Zeev Elkin and Minister for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett, on 28-30 May 2013.
The delegates will convene to discuss ways of combating the different manifestations of current Antisemitism at a three-day conference in Jerusalem. This conference will serve as a follow-up mechanism to previous conferences, and will aim at discussing, through 10 different working groups, viable models for facing the global challenge of Antisemitism.
The conference will take place at the Ramada Jerusalem Hotel.
There will be a live link for viewing videoed plenary session deliberations.
A highlight of this upcoming 2013 Conference, will be the convening of 10 working groups that will deliberate and formulate concrete action plans on the second day of the conference (29 May).
1. Antisemitism in the Muslim and Arab World
2. Antisemitism in Latin America
3. Antisemitism in the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe region
4. Antisemitism in the EU and Western Europe region
5. Antisemitism in the Guise of Delegitimization and Anti-Zionism
6. Antisemitism in the Internet and in the Media
7. Law, Legislation and Enforcement in the Combat of Antisemitism
8. Inter Faith Dialogue as an instrument to mitigate Antisemitism
9. Maintaining continuance of Diaspora Jewish Life (Kosher slaughter; Circumcision etc.)
10. Antisemitism on the campuses and Education for Tolerance and Mutual Respect
Participation in the conference is by invitation only.The Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism (GFCA) is an active and worldwide alliance of statesmen, parliamentarians, diplomats, journalists, legal experts, NGO’s and scholars led by the State of Israel. Our goal is to fight the growing expressions of antisemitism and other forms of racism as they manifest themselves around the world. We do so by learning best practices from experts and practitioners in the field, thus enabling us to fight current trends and prepare for future developments.
Diaspora Affairs and Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein (Photo: MFA)
The last international conference, held in December 2009, drew hundreds of leaders and experts from all over the world to Jerusalem. Participants addressed global antisemitism and discussed effective approaches to combat it.
Since its inception in 2000, the Global Forum has developed into one of the largest international Jewish bodies to focus on coordinated efforts to combat antisemitism. The 2009 conference included in-depth sessions focused on a wide variety of issues related to antisemitism ranging from it spreading online to trends in Central and Eastern Europe. The upcoming conference will continue to build on past successes, developing new ideas that will be incorporated into the future policies we need to continue to combat the growing threats of an evolving and strengthening antisemitism.
Over the millennia, antisemitism has taken on many forms. To confront this ever changing, dynamic antisemitism, in addition to other, more ‘classic’ forms of antisemitism, the GFCA and its International Conference has become an absolute necessity, and is now one of the leading international bodies coordinating efforts to counter global antisemitism.
Former ministers Natan Sharansky and Rabbi Michael Melchior established the GFCA in 2000. It has since been consolidated by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its Department for Combating Antisemitism. The GFCA’s first large International Conference took place in 2007, followed by two more in 2008 and 2009. The GFCA has been co-chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister for Diaspora and Public Diplomacy – a move that indicates the high priority that successive governments of the State of Israel attach to combating and eradicating global antisemitism.
The GFCA convenes periodically at its international conference, which provides an opportunity to come together, exchange ideas and formulate effective, coordinated and wide-ranging strategies for dealing with the antisemitism that plagues our global society.
During the 2008 GFCA International Conference, it was first announced that an inter-parliamentary body was to be established where parliamentarians can share knowledge, experience, best practices, and recommendations in an attempt to deal more effectively with contemporary antisemitism. As a successful result, in early 2009, the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (ICCA) was convened in London for the first time under the auspices of the British parliament.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on May 28, 2013
Source: JTA, 6-26-12
Three haredi Orthodox men were arrested for allegedly spray-painting anti-Semitic and anti-Israel graffiti on the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem.
The men, aged 18, 26 and 27, of Jerusalem and Bnei Brak and reportedly of the Neturei Karta group, were arrested Tuesday and reportedly admitted committing the vandalism earlier this month. They are also suspected of being connected to vandalism attacks at Ammunition Hill on Memorial Day and on memorials in the Jordan Valley.
The slogans, written in Hebrew, included “Hitler, thank you for the Holocaust,” “If Hitler did not exist, the Zionists would have invented him,” and “The war of the Zionist regime is not the war of the Jewish people.”
Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev praised the quick and effective work of the police.
“I believe that it was important to know the identities of those who spray-painted the graffiti. The suspects are extremist ultra-Orthodox Jews, anti-Zionists, who are on the fringes of society, and do not represent the majority who respect the memory of the Holocaust,” Shalev said. “Numerous reactions that we received from Israel and around the world, expressing condemnation and repugnance of the graffiti testify that this warped action offended many, and I hope that the court will mete out justice to the criminals.”
The Neturei Karta is a group of Orthodox Jews that rejects Zionism and the establishment of the State of Israel, believing that a legitimate Israel can only be reestablished with the coming of the Messiah.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on June 26, 2012
Source: JTA, 6-25-12
A synagogue in central Israel was defaced with Arabic graffiti.
The vandalism was discovered June 22 on a synagogue in central Israel’s Moshav Maor.
The graffiti was from an Islamic prayer and read “There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet.”
It came days after a West Bank mosque near Ramallah was torched and graffiti protesting the upcoming evacuation of several apartment buildings in the Ulpana neighborhood of the West Bank settlement of Beit El was painted on its walls in what is being considered a price tag attack.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on June 25, 2012
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned on Monday evening the anti-Zionist hate slogans and graffiti praising Hitler that were sprayed on the Yad VaShem Holocaust Museum.
“I saw the outrageous graffiti today at Yad Vashem,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “It is hard to believe that a human being could be capable of writing such things. I hope that the police will apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to the justice they deserve.”
President Shimon Peres, who landed in Washington, DC, on Monday, also condemned the incident, saying, “This is one of the most horrible things. What, are we trying to imitate those who tried to kill us? All the people must stand united, as one man, against this phenomenon.”…READ MORE
Source: PMO, 6-11-12
Following is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reaction today to the desecration at Yad Vashem:
“I saw the outrageous graffiti today at Yad Vashem. It is hard to believe that a human being could be capable of writing such things. I hope that the police will apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to the justice they deserve.”
Posted by bonniekgoodman on June 12, 2012
Yad VaShem Holocaust Museum officials were shocked Monday morning to discover anti-Zionist hate slogans and graffiti praising Hitler.
“Hitler, thanks for the Holocaust” and “If Hitler didn’t exist the Zionists would have had to invent him” were among the graffiti scrawled on the walls of the plaza. Another hate message stated, “Jews wake up – the Zionist regime is dangerous,” and the vandalism was signed by “The global Zionist mafia.”
Yad VaShem director Avner Shalev said, “I am shocked and horrified by this blatant act of burning hatred against the country and against Zionism. It has crossed the red line and is very worrisome.”
He said it is not clear who was behind the vandalism, and police are investigating.
Education Minister Gideon Saar asserted that the vandals “intended to insult public sensitivities.” One of the signatures indicated that anti-Zionist Jews may have been behind the hate attack, and security cameras may offer evidence of the perpetrators.
Yad VaShem was closed in the morning while workers tried to erase the damage.
Source: JTA, 6-11-12
Vandals spray painted anti-Israel and anti-Semitic graffiti at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum.
The slogans written in Hebrew, including “Hitler, thank you for the Holocaust,” “If Hitler did not exist, the Zionists would have invented him,” and “The war of the Zionist regime is not the war of the Jewish people,” were mostly found at the entrance to the museum and concentrated near the Warsaw Ghetto Square and the memorial to the deportees.
Police reportedly believe that haredi Jewish extremists, who are opposed to the state of Israel, believing that it should not be established until the arrival of the Messiah, are responsible for the crime, which occurred early Monday morning.
Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev, who is a Holocaust survivor, called the vandalism a “blatant act of hatred of Israel and Zionism,” and said that it “crosses a red line.”
Posted by bonniekgoodman on June 11, 2012
Source: JTA, 4-6-12
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted a German poet who wrote that Israel is a threat to world peace.
In a statement, Netanyahu condemned German Nobel laureate Gunter Grass for his “shameful moral equivalence,” the Times of Israel reported.
“Gunter Grass’s shamelful moral equivalence between Israel and Iran, a regime that denies the Holocaust and threatens to annihilate Israel, says little about Israel and much about Mr. Grass,” Netanyahu said.
Grass, 84 and the winnter of the 1999 Nobel Prize in literature, published a poem Wednesday in which we writes that Israel is “endangering world peace” and criticizes the German government for its support of the Jewish state.
In 2006, Grass acknowledged that he had served in a division of the Waffen-SS.
On Thursday, Grass responded to criticism of his poem, telling a German television station that his critics had not bothered to look at the poem and were interested only in a campaign to ruin his reputation.
Source: PMO, 4-6-12
Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks regarding Gunter Grass:
“Gunter Grass’s shameful moral equivalence between Israel and Iran, a regime that denies the Holocaust and threatens to annihilate Israel, says little about Israel and much about Mr. Grass.
It is Iran, not Israel, that is a threat to the peace and security of the world.
It is Iran, not Israel, that threatens other states with annihilation.
It is Iran, not Israel, that supports terror organizations that fire rockets on innocent civilians.
It is Iran, not Israel, that is supporting the Syrian regime’s massacre of its own people.
It is Iran, not Israel, that stones women, hangs gays and brutally represses tens of millions of its own citizens.
For six decades, Mr. Grass hid the fact that he had been a member of the Waffen SS. So for him to cast the one and only Jewish state as the greatest threat to world peace and to oppose giving Israel the means to defend itself is perhaps not surprising.
But decent people everywhere should strongly condemn these ignorant and reprehensible statements.”
Posted by bonniekgoodman on April 6, 2012
Source: JTA, 3-25-12
Israeli authorities are investigating a French media report that Toulouse terrorist Mohammed Merah visited Israel.
Merah’s passport, found by French police after he was killed in a shootout Thursday, showed that he visited Israel, Syria, Iraq and Jordan, the Le Monde newspaper reported.
Merah had confessed during the more than 30-hour standoff at his apartment in Toulouse to a gun attack on the city’s Ozar Hatorah school on March 19 that killed Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30, and his two young sons, as well as the 7-year-old daughter of the school’s principal. A self-described al-Qaida member, Merah also was wanted for the murders of three French troops.
Israel’s Interior Ministry said it had no record of a Merah’s name among tourists who entered the country in recent years, but police and secret service authorities said Sunday the possibility that he had visited under another identity was still being checked.
Asked about the possibility that Merah had come to Israel, perhaps to reconnoiter for an attack, Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor told Channel Two television Saturday, “I heard about this in the press. I don’t know what the facts are, exactly.”
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 25, 2012
“Today we had a savage crime in France that gunned down French Jews, among them children. It’s too early to say what the precise background for this act of murder is, but I think that we can’t rule out that there was a strong murderous anti-Semitic motive here. I’m sure that Nicholas Sarkozy, the President of France, and his government will do their utmost to find the killer and we, in Israel will do everything to help them in this task.
I haven’t heard yet a condemnation from any of the UN bodies but I have heard that one such body, the UN Human Rights Council, invited on this very day a senior representative of Hamas – on this day, when we had the savage murder, they chose to invite a member of Hamas. This particular individual condemned the United States for disposing of the arch-murderer Bin Laden, and he represents an organization that indiscriminately targets children and grown-ups, and women and men. Innocents – is their special favorite target. They kill Jews anywhere – that’s their constitution – kill Jews wherever you find them – that’s what they do. And this is what the Human Rights Council decided to do today – to bring in to its quarters a member of Hamas. So I have one thing to say to the UN Human Rights Council: What do you have to do with human rights? You should be ashamed of yourselves.”
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 19, 2012
Source: JTA, 3-19-12
The shooting attack that killed four people — a teacher and three students — at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, is linked to recent deadly attacks on French soldiers, forensic tests indicate.
A man riding a motorbike reportedly opened fire Monday morning outside the Ozar Hatorah School, where students were waiting to enter the building at the start of the school day. The shooter then entered the building and continued shooting at students and teachers before fleeing on his motorbike.
Several students also were injured inside the building. The dead are reported to be a 30-year-old rabbi and his 3-year-old and 6-year-old sons, as well as the 10-year-old daughter of the school’s principal. Some 200 students attend the school, according to Israel Radio.
Forensic tests found that the weapon used in the attack at the school was the same one used in a pair of fatal shooting attacks targeting off-duty French soldiers in and near Toulouse last week. Those shootings, which were also committed by a gunman on a motorbike, left three soldiers dead and another seriously wounded. The soldiers who were shot were of North African or Caribbean background….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 19, 2012
Source: JTA, 12-6-11
The Obama administration is reaping a whirlwind of criticism in the wake of pointed remarks about Israel by several U.S. officials over three days.
The U.S. ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman, caused an uproar when he suggested on Dec. 1 that hostility among European Arabs and Muslims toward Jews was rooted in anger over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and should be distinguished from traditional forms of anti-Semitism. Jewish groups condemned his remarks, which drew calls for his dismissal from Republican presidential front-runners Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.
The following day, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stirred controversy when he told an audience at the Saban Forum, an annual Washington conclave for American and Israeli policymakers, that Israel needs to “get to the damn table” to negotiate with the Palestinians and “mend fences” with its neighbors. The Anti-Defamation League expressed “surprise and dismay” at a speech that it said “disproportionately put the onus on Israel to overcome its isolation.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made waves a day later at the Saban Forum when she reportedly expressed some concerns about the state of Israeli democracy.
The confluence of controversies has added up to a headache for the Obama administration’s Jewish supporters and given fodder to its critics.
“This is the worst weekend we’ve had in a while,” said a Jewish Democratic activist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, referring to the outcry over the remarks.
Each set of remarks share a common theme, said the ADL’s national director, Abraham Foxman.
They’re “putting all of the onus on Israel, and that’s with Panetta, with Hillary and with the ambassador,” he said. “It’s something that we’ve had a problem with this administration.”…READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on December 6, 2011
Source: JTA, 12-4-11
The White House distanced itself from its ambassador to Belgium after the envoy said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the cause of Muslim anti-Semitism.
“We condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms, and that there is never any justification for prejudice against the Jewish people or Israel,” the White House said in a statement sent to Jewish leaders on Saturday night.
Howard Gutman, who is Jewish, said last week at a conference in Brussels on anti-Semitism organized by the European Jewish Union that “A distinction should be made between traditional anti-Semitism, which should be condemned, and Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.” He added that “an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty will significantly diminish Muslim anti-Semitism.”
Gutman, an attorney, raised major funds for Obama’s 2008 elections campaign, after which he was appointed ambassador by the president.
On Sunday, Gutman said he regretted that his statements to the conference were “misinterpreted,” according to the European Jewish Press, citing the U.S. Embassy in Belgium.
“My personal history and the history of my family testify to the importance I attach to this subject and my unwavering commitment to fight anti-Semitism,” Gutman, the son of a Polish Jewish Holocaust survivor, reportedly said.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on December 4, 2011