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"Addressing and preventing antisemitism
through education"

Antisemitism did not begin with the Holocaust, nor, sadly did it end when the Holocaust ended. The need to challenge antisemitism, and recognize the forms it takes, is of growing importance as the incidents of hate speech, hate crimes and antisemitism rise alongside neo-Nazism and the increasingly visible supremacist movement. How education can serve to address these issues was the topic of discussion at a special roundtable discussion organized by the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, UNESCO, and the Office of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief on the 18 October at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The event titled “Addressing and preventing antisemitism through education” marked the presentation of the report by Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, to the United Nations General Assembly on 17 October 2019.

The roundtable speakers addressing a packed room at UN Headquarters, encouraged Member States and international and national stakeholders to mobilize behind the need to address antisemitism in and through education. Ms. Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications and Ms. Marie Paule Roudil, Director for the UNESCO Office in New York delivered welcoming remarks. Professor Irwin Cotler, former Canadian Member of Parliament delivered the keynote speech. The panel speakers addressed antisemitism around the world. The panel speakers comprised Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Mr. Raffi Gregorian, Director and Deputy to the Under-Secretary-General at United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, Mr. Mark Weizmann, Director of Government Affairs at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Ms. Dina Wyler, Jewish Diplomatic Corps of the World Jewish Congress, Ms. Felice Gaer, Director of the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights. Mr. Karel Fracapane, Programme Specialist for UNESCO moderated the event.

The event was webcast live, and can be accessed here.

UN News: Antisemitism ‘toxic to democracy’, UN expert warns, calling for better education (18 October 2019)

UN News: Antisemitism the ‘canary in the coalmine of global hatred’, UN expert (18 October 2019)