At first-ever UN anti-Semitism forum, ambassadors decry resurgence of hatred

NEW YORK (JTA) – The United Nations (UN) for the first time hosted a high-level forum on anti-Semitism, as ambassadors denounced the resurgence of anti-Jewish hatred and called for renewed efforts to stop it.

Israel, the United States, Canada and the European Union sponsored the forum on Wednesday, which followed a General Assembly meeting last year on the topic.

Opening the forum, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned anti-Semitism before pivoting to slam hatred of minorities in general and refugees in particular.

“Anti-Semitism is one of the world’s oldest and most pernicious and deadly forms of hatred,” Ban said. “Despite the lessons of history and horrors of the Holocaust, Jews continue to be targeted for murder and abuse solely because they are Jews.”

Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, said anti-Semitism was again rising in Europe and called being anti-Israel “anti-Semitism 2.0.” He also admonished the United Nations for being “another place where some are not ashamed to spread lies and slander about the Jewish people.”

“Today we see and hear things about Jews and the Jewish people that we all thought belonged to the pages of history,” he said. “It seems that anti-Semitism is returning to everyday life without shame.”

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said anti-Israel protests can cross the line into anti-Semitism, and “we have seen these lines blurred in the United States, including on college campuses.”

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