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This text was written by Erika Van Gelger,  Daniel Citone, Solomon Bali and Tomas Kraus, after they attended the meeting organized in Berlin for the 10 year anniversary of the Berlin Declaration


Berlin plus 10


The high-level conference on Anti-Semitism took place in Berlin on 12-13 November, 2014. The goal of this conference was to evaluate the progress made in the last 10 years since the Berlin Declaration in fighting Anti-Semitism in Europe. Unfortunately the continuous increase in Anti-Semitism, especially since the conflict in Gaza, made it necessary to remind governments of their commitments.
More than 200 Civil Societies were represented. B'nai B'rith Europe was well represented by Erika van Gelder, Daniel Citone, Solomon Bali and Tomas Kraus. Tomas was moderator for the workshop "Challenges to the Security of Jews and the Jewish Communities"; Solomon was on the panel of the group "The relationship between Nationalism and Anti-Semitism"; Erika has contributed to the final recommendations with the points: a) governments should be legally accountable for re-enforcing and implementing hate crime legislation and b) in order to increase the impact of Civil Societies, they should work in coalition with each other and with the express support from the national Parliaments. As compared to 10 years ago in Berlin, the number of the participating governments, now, was considerably less (from the 57 member States) and their representatives were not the highest level, which in itself is an indication of the general political attitude towards Anti-Semitism in Europe.
The first day was dedicated to the Civil Societies. Several parallel workshops took place in the morning and afternoon. Each workshop group had the task to write its recommendations which next day were presented at the governments plenary. The discussions focused on the following themes: cybercrime and responding to hate propaganda on internet and social media, better monitoring and recording of hate crime, the necessity for a more structured cooperation, coordination between Civil Societies and governments as well as more financial support from the governments for Civil Society projects, Holocaust education, education for educators and law enforcement organs, nationalism and denial of Holocaust, using the present political situation in Middle East for legitimizing Anti-Semitism. It was underlined that the situation in Middle East does not justify any form of Anti-Semitism. It was also recommended that member States review and strengthen the legislations against all forms of discrimination and hate crime, including Anti-Semitism, in consultation with civil societies and Jewish communities. You can read all the recommendations of the Civil Societies at: www.osce.org/odihr/126836?download=true
The following day, government's representatives reflected on the efforts and achievement of the last 10 years on fighting Anti-Semitism and discussed how to counter contemporary Anti-Semitism. The key speaker was Ambassador Samantha Power, US State Department, Permanent representative to the United Nations, member of the Cabinet. Her powerful speech can be seen in its entirety on you tube:https://www.youtube.co/watch?v=Op_ohGqvqoU

Erika van Gelder, Daniel Citone, Solomon Bali and Tomas Kraus