In recent years, we have witnessed violent attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions, proposals in some countries to ban central Jewish religious practices, and anti-Jewish sentiments expressed by the leaders of far right- and left-wing political parties. AJC counters antisemitism in all its guises by calling on governments to act and by organizing coalitions with other faith and ethnic groups to forge a united front against hate.
Antisemitism has been called the world’s oldest hatred. It is a tangible threat not only to Jews, but also to the very fabric of democratic societies. AJC offices around the world, including our five European offices, deliver that message daily.
Prompting Government Action
In the U.S., AJC conceived and helped establish the congressional Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Antisemitism. Now, with more than 174 members, it crafts policies to address rising antisemitism and to protect Jewish communities. And in Europe, AJC helped convince the European Union to establish a new position—Coordinator for Combating Antisemitism. In June of 2018, AJC renewed its call on the political institutions of the European Union and its Member States to express at the highest levels a fundamental commitment to fight antisemitism.
Throughout Europe and the United States, AJC advocates for the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism as a crucial first step in addressing the horrific rise in antisemitism. AJC was involved in the original drafting of the definition 14 years ago. The Working Definition offers eleven examples, including references to common antisemitic stereotypes and tropes such as those alleging Jewish control of the government and of media, Holocaust denial, charges of dual loyalty, and the attribution of collective responsibility for actions of the state of Israel.
Organizing coalitions with other faith and ethnic groups builds a united front against hate. That is why AJC launched the groundbreaking Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council, a bipartisan group of Muslim and Jewish leaders that works with elected officials to counter anti-Muslim bigotry and antisemitism in the U.S. It has called on the President, Congress, and the Department of Justice to take immediate steps to counter escalating hate crimes.
AJC’s Mayors United Against Antisemitism campaign is the largest public statement against antisemitism in history. To date, nearly 600 American and European mayors have signed AJC’s pledge to publicly address and take action against antisemitism in their jurisdictions. And we are now using this pledge to hold these leaders accountable.