update deskAntisemitism

Israel to commemorate Diaspora victims of Jew-hatred

Move aims to foster solidarity between the Jewish people and the state.

The "Mr. Shnitz" kosher restaurant targeted with antisemitic graffiti in Levallois-Perret, France, on Aug. 19, 2023. Source: X.
The "Mr. Shnitz" kosher restaurant targeted with antisemitic graffiti in Levallois-Perret, France, on Aug. 19, 2023. Source: X.

The Israeli Cabinet approved a plan on Monday to officially commemorate Jews murdered in antisemitic attacks in the Diaspora.

Amichai Chikli, minister for Diaspora affairs and combating antisemitism, proposed the move, which is aimed at strengthening Jewish identity and fostering solidarity between the Jewish people and the State of Israel. 

“Hostile actions often target the Jewish people, both within our borders and across the sea,” said Chikli on Monday.

“The October 7 massacre and the Iron Swords War were launched against Israel for one reason: hatred of Jews and hatred of Israel. This is also the sole reason our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora suffer from severe and appalling antisemitic events,” he continued. 

The decision comes amid a wave of antisemitic violence worldwide partially triggered by Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza. 

The initiative is part of the “The Ruderman Roadmap,” strategic guidelines devised by the Ruderman Family Foundation to formally outline and codify the Israeli government’s responsibility to Diaspora Jewry.

“This is a courageous government decision that strengthens the bond of shared destiny between Israel and the Jewish world, which has become more evident than ever since October 7,” said Shira Ruderman, executive director of the Ruderman Family Foundation.

“This is a historic day where the State of Israel has proven that only through our unity as a people and the mutual responsibility between us can we ensure security,” she added. 

In May 2023, the Cabinet approved preliminary resolution 492 in light of “the need and moral obligation to commemorate the Diaspora Jews who are not citizens of Israel, who were murdered due to their Jewishness in antisemitic hostile acts in the Diaspora, and in order to promote this commemoration.”

Among the initial recommendations made was to mark the commemoration of the Fallen in the Diaspora as part of a ceremony on Memorial Day; establish a designated state monument to commemorate the Fallen in the Diaspora; and make information about the Fallen in the Diaspora accessible through an open and available digital database.

“Israel’s official recognition for the victims of antisemitic violence is an important and necessary step—a step that implements the state’s commitment under the law, which stipulates that ‘the state will ensure the safety of the Jewish people and their citizens who are in distress and captivity because of their Judaism or citizenship,” said Chikli on Monday.

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