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Israel to commemorate non-citizen Jews murdered by antisemites abroad

Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli introduced the measure at the Cabinet meeting.

Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli arrives for a Cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, Jan. 8, 2023. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.
Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli arrives for a Cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, Jan. 8, 2023. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.

For the first time since the establishment of the state, the Israel Cabinet on Sunday decided to commemorate Jews who were murdered abroad in antisemitic attacks even if they were not citizens of the state.

The move, which follows a wave of antisemitic attacks around the globe, aims to deepen the connection between Israel and world Jewry.

“This is an important and necessary step for a nation and a country that has struggled with antisemitism since its inception,” said Yaakov Hagoel, chairman of the World Zionist Organization. He initiated the move last year based on a study by the Boston-based Ruderman Family Foundation.

“Our brothers and sisters living in the Diaspora are an inseparable part of us and unfortunately they struggle every day with antisemitic events,” Hagoel said in a statement.

The proposal adopted by the Cabinet was brought forward by the Minister for Diaspora Affairs Amichai Chikli. His ministry will formulate the recommendations for recognizing Jews, and non-Jews, killed in antisemitic attacks abroad.

“Including the recognition of victims of antisemitic violence as victims of acts of terrorism is an important and necessary step … [by] Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people,” Chikli, who is also minister for social equality, said.

Shira Ruderman, executive director of the Ruderman Family Foundation, said, “This is a historic day for the Jewish people and the State of Israel. 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.

“We appreciate the commitment of Minister of Diaspora Affairs Amichai Chikli to promote this initiative,” she continued. “The Ruderman Family Foundation will continue to work tirelessly to strengthen the State of Israel’s relationship with American Jewry and with the entire Diaspora.”

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