|Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad|
Outrageous comments by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said Israel should be “wiped off the map” and that the Holocaust is a myth, topped a list of anti-Semitic incidents presented to the Knesset on Thursday.
Despite a decline in the number of anti-Semitic incidents registered in 2005, Iran’s increasingly verbal hostility against Israel and its resumption of scientific research that could yield atomic bombs raised fears of a second Holocaust.
“Today we have to identify a major threat. When Iran said what it did … the world was not overwhelmingly chocked,” Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset plenum during a session to commemorate International Holocaust Day.
A report on anti-Semitism piled by the Jewish Agency for Israel showed a drop in anti-Semitic attacks worldwide, but pointed to a rise in anti-Semitism in Russia, Ukraine and Islamic countries.
'Evil and hatred are raging'
Although the knife attack on a Moscow synagogue earlier this month will go down in the 2006 report on anti-Semitism, a number of attacks on Jews and desecrations of Jewish cemeteries in Russia and Ukraine and April calls by some Russian politicians to ban Jewish organizations, have raised concerns that the east European neighbors are doing little to fight hatred for Jews.
Jewish Agency chairman Zeev Bielski urged the Russian and Ukrainian governments to spare no effort to fight anti-Semitism. “Anti-Semitism is not dead, it is alive and breathing. Some governments implemented their laws and were successful in bringing down anti-Semitic attacks in their countries,” Bielski said.
Bielski praised efforts by France to fight rife anti-Semitism, with French authorities succeeding in reducing attacks against Jews by 40 percent in 2005.
On the Islamic-Arab front, Iran is in the lead with its leader publicly denying the Holocaust and calling for the destruction of Israel. “Calls by Iran’s president are proof that evil and hatred are raging,” Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the Knesset plenum.
Olmert added that efforts by western governments to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions are proof that Israel is not alone.
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