Westerwelle at WJC conference. Received standing ovation following speech Photo: Doron Ritter
German FM vows to counter anti-Semitism
Addressing World Jewish Congress meeting in Budapest, Guido Westerwelle says his country is 'firmly committed to protecting and nourishing Jewish life in our societies. Anti-Semitism has no place neither in Berlin, nor in Budapest, nor anywhere else in Europe or in the world'
"It is our responsibility to preserve the memory of the Holocaust for future generations. We owe it to the victims. We owe it to the survivors. We owe it to ourselves. Yet, our responsibility is not only about preserving the memory of the past. It is about shaping the future.
"We are firmly committed to protecting and nourishing Jewish life in our societies and to countering anti-Semitism across the globe. We have to tackle the root causes of anti-Semitism,” the German foreign minister added.
The WJC, which is playing host to over 600 delegates and observers from their affiliated Jewish communities and organizations in 100 countries, decided to hold its Plenary Assembly in Budapest in light of these growing concerns.
Other keynote speakers at the Plenary Assembly include Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Cardinal Péter Erdő, the archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest and current president of the Council of European Bishops Conferences, as well as various special envoys to the Middle East. Delegates will also elect today a new WJC Executive for the next four years.
The Plenary is organized in cooperation with the Federation of Jewish Communities of Hungary (MAZSIHISZ), the official representative body of Jews in Hungary.
MAZSIHISZ President Péter Feldmájer declared that “the fact that the WJC is holding its Plenary Assembly in Budapest is a symbol of solidarity with our Jewish community, which has been faced with growing anti-Semitism in recent years. We look forward to welcoming the WJC delegates here in Hungary, home to the largest Jewish community in Central Europe.”