Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, as opening Moderator and Presenter
Moscow, 28-30 October 2018
"First my thanks to Russian Jewish Congress President, Mr.Yuri Kanner and his team, for organizing this 2nd Moscow Conference “Protecting Future: Combating Antisemitism, Xenophobia and Racism”. It is a great honour to serve as co-moderator of this Opening Session and to introduce the international speakers."
"Today is marked by the shadow of the Pittsburgh antisemitic attack. That atrocity must not disappear as one more among the many signposts along the Avenue of hate. We are currently marking another Avenue: from the 80th anniversary of the Evian Conference on Jewish refugees until, next week, 'Kristallnacht' - both precursors to the Holocaust."
"But commemoration is not enough. We must learn the lessons. In the 1930s, we were powerless, but only three years after the Shoah, was miraculously reborn the Jewish State. We had returned to history, geography and sovereignty."
"Ironically, 'Jewish power' is even more vital today, in support of the Jewish State."
Shimon Samuels with Senator Valentina Matviyenko, Chair of the Russian Federation Council (Senate)
discussing the display of the Centre’s exhibition “People, Book, Land: the 3,500 Year Relationship
of the Jewish People with the Holy Land” in the Russian Duma.
"Each of us can recount our successes and also our failures. I will expand with examples in my presentation tomorrow. I believe that the time has come to establish a small international task-force to share best practices, why they succeeded and where they failed."
"This should produce tactical guidelines both proactive and reactive. Just as the Lord brought us out of Egypt 'B’YAD CHAZAKA' (a clenched fist) and 'BEZROA NETUYA' (an outstretched arm), today in the parlance of diplomacy: 'the carrot and the stick!' We must be political with a small 'p' and thus set our compass to 'bipartisan' in a world growingly polarized."
"We should include, what I would call 'today’s Righteous Gentiles,' and we must learn from our enemies the adoption of 'transectonality'."
"Such a 'Best Practice Taskforce' would seek to set a new agenda, to re-establish the role of the Jewish people from 'Am Levadad Yishkon' (A people that dwells alone) to 'Or LaGoyim' (A light among the Nations). We are ready to discuss this initiative with appropriate partners."
"I now have the honour to introduce H.E. Gary Koren, Ambassador of Israel to the Russian Federation; Irina Bokova, former Director-General of UNESCO; Julius Meinl, World Jewish Congress Commissioner for Combatting Antisemitism; Rabbi Berel Lazar, Chief Rabbi of Russia; Jean-Pierre Chevenement, Special Representative of the French Government for Relations with Russia. Thank you."
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In the final Plenary Session, entitled “Antisemitism, Xenophobia and Racism: Modern Challenges and Threats,” Samuels made a power-point presentation on “The Theft of Jewish Identity: the Ultimate Antisemitism.”