Parliamentarians and senior European government officials gathered in Prague and Theresienstadt (Terezin) to declare war on anti-Semitic fake news – and to pledge to promote educational initiatives against hate.
Over 100 members of parliament, government officials, ambassadors and European Jewish leaders gathered Monday in Prague and in the Theresienstadt camp on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day to discuss ways of dealing with fake news and conspiracy theories against Jews in the media, social networks and with the rising anti-Semitism in Universities across the continent.
The conference is organized by the European Jewish Association (EJA).
The Theresienstadt (Terezin) concentration camp was “marketed” by the Nazis as a “Jewish settlement” and an “enlightened” ghetto, but the historical facts prove that in complete contrast to ‘’fake news’’, about 120,000 of the 160,000 Jews who were interned there perished in the Holocaust, including about 14,000 children. Some were sent to the gas chambers in Auschwitz, many died of starvation.
According to EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin: ”Even today, fake news poses a tangible danger to the well-being of Jews throughout Europe, a tool of hatred that is unfortunately strengthened by social networks and mixes conspiracy theories against Jews. Dozens of European leaders responded to our call to come to Terezin to pledge to fight against fake news that encourages anti-Semitism and implement educational programs to eradicate it.”
Among the participants are Otmar Karas, First Vice President of the European Parliament, Israel’s Ambassador to the Czech Republic Anna Azari, Bulgaria’s Deputy Minister of Justice Mariya Pavlova, French MP Prisca Thevenot, spokeswoman of President Macron’s Renaissance party and Gidon Lev, a Terezin survivor who lives in Israel.
During the conference, Rabbi Margolin is to award the prestigious ‘King David Award’ to Amanda Rajkumar, Executive Board Member for Global Human Resources, People and Culture of German sporting goods giant ADIDAS for the company’s decision to sever all commercial ties with singer Kanye West following his anti-Semitic statements.
On Tuesday, the delegates will visit the former concentration camp of Terezin and attend a memorial ceremony during which six candles will be lit.