Meeting planned long before the recent attacks in Paris
The U.N. General Assembly gathered Thursday for its first ever meeting dedicated to global action against anti-Semitism.
The informal meeting, attended by approximately half the bloc’s 193 member states, was organized by mainly Western nations in order to address an “alarming outbreak of anti-Semitism worldwide.”
Planning began last October in response to the murder of three people outside the Jewish Museum in Brussels, Belgium, and the killing of a rabbi and three children in Toulouse, France, the Associated Press reports.
The U.N.’s 57 Islamic nations unanimously condemned all words and acts that encourage “hatred, anti-Semitism [and] Islamophobia.” The statement, given by the Saudi ambassador, Abdallah Al-Moualimi, was “extremely significant,” said U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power.
Al-Moualimi stressed the importance of dialogue in efforts to combat Islamophobia and anti-Semitism and denounced “any discrimination based on belief and religious practices.”
Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. Ron Prosor said that the Holocaust had elicited pledges that anti-Semitism had no place in the modern world. Yet, he lamented, “Here we are again.”