Some Jews Concerned Broader Intolerance Discussion Will Weaken Focus on Anti-Semitism

June 7, 2005

Source: The Jerusalem Post

On June 7, 2005 The Jerusalem Post reported, "This picturesque Spanish town where Jews, Christians and Muslims once coexisted, and where the great scholar Maimonides was born, will host the third Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe conference on anti-Semitism on Wednesday and Thursday.

Some Jewish organizations, however, are concerned that the content of this conference – expanded from last year's focus on anti-Semitism to include Islamaphobia, discrimination against Christians and other forms of intolerance – could erode the strong message against anti-Semitism made by prominent world leaders in Berlin last April. They've also noted the lack of high-level leaders this time around.

'There is a danger that the gains of Berlin might be diluted in the Cordoba conference,' said Bobby Brown, head of the World Jewish Congress' Israel office. 'If no new steps are taken and the attempt is to combine many different problems under the roof of the conference, then we will have only taken a step backward'...Still, Jewish leaders said that other forms of racism, particularly Islamaphobia, did need to be addressed.

'It's important and good that those Muslims who are ready to cooperate and speak up see that Jews don't only care about their own problems,' said Dr. Roni Stauber, of the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism and Racism."