In first, Israel to honor Diaspora Jews killed in antisemitic acts

Government approves motion by World Zionist Organization Chair Yaakov Hagoel to commemorate Jews around the world who were targeted and fell victim to antisemitic incidents

The government on Monday approved a resolution to commemorate Jews who lost their lives due to their Jewish identities in hostile antisemitic acts in the Diaspora.
In 2022, Yaakov Hagoel, chairman of the World Zionist Organization who at the time also served as chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, sent a letter to the prime minister calling for Israel's official commemoration of the Jewish victims of antisemitic attacks around the world.
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אילוס יהודים חרדים בברוקלין, ניו יורק, ארה''ב
אילוס יהודים חרדים בברוקלין, ניו יורק, ארה''ב
(Photo: Shutterstock)
“The government's recognition of casualties in the diaspora is crucial,” Hagoel wrote to then-Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. He added, “We must not forget our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora who were murdered solely due to their Jewish identities.
"The State of Israel must act to officially recognize those murdered and the victims of antisemitic attacks around the world. We must remember them in the official ceremonies of the State of Israel and act so that they will be an integral part of the national memory and commemoration… this is our duty for our Jewish brothers and sisters."
In a move led by Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism Minister Amichai Chikli, the government established a special committee to discuss the commemoration of non-Israeli Jews who lost their lives in hostile antisemitic acts in the diaspora. The government officially adopted the committee's recommendations on Monday.
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Yaakov Hagoel
Yaakov Hagoel
Yaakov Hagoel
(Photo: Oz Shechter)
World Zionist Organization Chairman Yaakov Hagoel said in a statement following the decision, “This is a historic day that strengthens the unbreakable bond between the entirety of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. We have all witnessed the severe wave of antisemitism the Diaspora Jewry has been facing, especially since the start of the war in Gaza."
"The State of Israel and our brothers and sisters in the diaspora share a single destiny. The adoption of the resolution to commemorate fallen Diaspora Jews who were murdered simply because they were Jewish emphasizes the mutual responsibility and shared destiny between Israel and the entire Jewish people," he added.
"I thank the Israeli government, the Diaspora Affairs minister, the Diaspora Affairs Ministry's director-general, and the Ruderman Family Foundation for advancing the adoption of this historic resolution. One people, one destiny, one memory and one future.”
Shira Ruderman, executive director of the Ruderman Family Foundation, said: "This is a courageous government decision that strengthens the bond of shared destiny between Israel and the Jewish world, which has become more evident than ever since October 7. I congratulate the government of Israel on approving the decision we initiated, which includes worthy elements in the commemoration of Jews who were murdered simply because of their Jewish identity and due to antisemitism.
"This will be done on the national memorial day, at a dedicated monument in Israel within educational systems, and most importantly, in a database that, for the first time, will compile their names and stories - something that has not been done until today. This is a historic day where the State of Israel has proven that only through our unity as a people and the mutual responsibility between us can we ensure security."
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