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Young Jews call for justice in new book amid rising antisemitism

The book features chapters written by Jews, ages 18 to 30, concerned that human rights doesn't apply to them.

Israeli Ambassador to Portugal Dor Shapira addresses attendees at book release in Oporto, Portugal. Ambassador Manuela Franco (seated middle) and Dr. Luis Campos Ferreira (seated left) look on. Credit: Courtesy.
Israeli Ambassador to Portugal Dor Shapira addresses attendees at book release in Oporto, Portugal. Ambassador Manuela Franco (seated middle) and Dr. Luis Campos Ferreira (seated left) look on. Credit: Courtesy.

A new book, titled “Human Rights: Written by Young Jews from 40 Countries,” was released at a Sunday ceremony in Oporto, Portugal attended by Israel’s Ambassador to Portugal Dor Shapira.

The book is a response to the unprecedented attacks on Jews worldwide and the weaponization of “human rights” to attack the Jewish state, particularly in the wake of the Oct. 7 massacre.

It is an initiative of B’nai B’rith Portugal together with the International Observatory for Human Rights, a Portugal-based group.

“The book comes in the wake of Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre and seeks to highlight that Jewish human rights have been forgotten or minimized in the service of a narrow yet hateful ideology, sadly led by those for whom human rights is a mere slogan,” said David Nataf, vice president of B’nai B’rith Portugal.

“The book is a wake-up call by young Jewish men and women scattered around the four corners of the Earth,” said Luís Andrade, president of the International Observatory of Human Rights.

Chapters are written by Jews ages 16-to-30 from all corners of the globe, including China, Tunisia, Australia and Guatemala.

Writing on the theme of justice, Mara Garrett, 17, from Portugal, recalled, “The Jewish people created national and international law, dinim, which imposes on humanity a system of justice with honest laws and honest judges operating in a context of truth and good faith.

“However, exactly three months after Hamas perpetrated the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, Israel was tried for genocide at the International Court of Justice. This demonstrates a lack of a real commitment to law, if it just becomes a weapon in the service of political attacks.”

Several writers addressed the current rise of antisemitism and discrimination.

Yochanan Caldes, 26, from Belgium, wrote, “The Holocaust happened 80 years ago. I always imagined that it would be centuries before there were further discriminations against human beings in general and the Jews in particular. But, today, I can testify to the opposite in Brussels, at the heart of Europe.”

Shlomo Elijah, 24 from the United Kingdom, wrote, “Antisemitism has always been used to express a prejudiced aversion to Jews, viewed as the root of all society’s evils. In a world that protects minorities in extreme and passionate form, the Jews are forgotten. Again.”

Also addressing the event were Ambassador Manuela Franco, National Coordinator of the European Strategy to Combat Antisemitism and Promote Jewish Life, and Luís Campos Ferreira, chairman of the ruling party’s international relations commission.

The book is in English and Hebrew and is available free of charge through international organizations and online.

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