Diplomats from more than 40 countries came together in London yesterday at a landmark seminar and evening reception jointly hosted by The Board of Deputies of British Jews and AJC Europe.
The programme included four sessions featuring experts from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Israel and Belgium.
Among the topics discussed on the various panels were: the crisis of antisemitism in the Labour Party; security and extremism in Europe; commemorating the Holocaust and ongoing instability in the Middle East.
The event was attended by ambassadors and diplomats from more than 40 countries, as well as many guests from the British Jewish community and AJC Europe.
Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush and AJC CEO David Harris both addressed the audience.
Jonathan Arkush said: “I am very pleased that in a short span of time – just over a year or so – our two organisations have become increasingly close. Today’s seminar and reception bear testament not only to the relationship we have at the leadership level, but the enthusiasm of our respective professional teams, who have come together to produce tangible results.”
He spoke of his concern about the British Labour Party’s inadequate handling of the antisemitism in its midst, the need to deepen Muslim-Jewish ties in the UK, and the deep and abiding commitment of British Jews to the well-being of their country.
David Harris said: “What the world needs today — a world which has, in many ways, become more fractured, tumultuous, and dangerous — is a community of conscience. In this room are distinguished representatives of many countries and non-governmental organisations who share that vision, who understand that we have achieved something precious in advancing the cherished values of human dignity, human rights, and human freedom. All of us in that community, whether in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America, and Israel must stand together as never before, drawing strength and inspiration from one another, in the face of the relentless challenges to our foundational values. And be assured that AJC –today, tomorrow and the day after – will be an active part of that community.”
Photo (Left to right): AJC CEO David Harris, Board of Deputies CEO Gillian Merron, AJC Paris Director Simone Rodan-Benzaquen and Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush.