The World Jewish Congress convened a meeting of its Executive Committee in Madrid on 21-22 March at which the organization issued a critical report outlining European governments’ progress in developing action plans to tackle antisemitism. The report was shared ahead of meetings in Madrid with the King of Spain His Majesty Felipe VI and the country’s Foreign Ministry.
The program, hosted in cooperation with the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, included a joint session of the WJC Executive Committee and members of the WJC Special Envoys & Coordinators Combating Antisemitism (SECCA) forum, led by EU Commission Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life Katharina von Schnurbein and attended by United States Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt as well as more than two dozen national-level officials tasked with developing their respective action plans to fight antisemitism and foster Jewish life.
Members of the WJC’s Executive Committee and SECCA met for a joint working-session and traveled to the El Pardo Royal Palace for a private audience with King Felipe VI to express gratitude for the country’s approach to addressing antisemitism and fostering Jewish life.
Spain, which last month approved a national plan to implement the European Strategy to Combat Antisemitism for 2023-2030, will assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union on July 1.
The WJC group then moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union, and Cooperation for a luncheon.
Roundtable sessions in advance of the formal committee meetings centered on the role of youth and women empowerment within the context of Jewish communities. Internal discussions among WJC officials and SECCA members continue Wednesday in a closed forum.
About the Malmö Gap analysis report
The report tracks initiatives that emerged from Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism in October 2021, when nations focused on concrete steps to counter antisemitism and other forms of hatred and worked to advance Holocaust education and remembrance.
Strikingly, leaders from 35% of the Jewish communities that took part in the report said their governments had established an adequate legislative framework to prosecute antisemitic hate-speech and crimes. Yet just 22% said pledges made in Malmö were relevant for their actual needs, while 16% claimed that the pledges had been completely implemented.
Working session led by WJC Commissioner on Gender Equality and Inclusion, Ms. Marie van der Zyl OBE, organized together with the WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps.
Joint session with members of the WJC NextGen program discussing the resolutions of the Jewish Youth Assembly.
Joint session focusing on the development and implementation of National Action Plans to combat antisemitism and to safeguard and promote Jewish life in various countries around the world.
Lunch hosted by Amb. Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, with guest of honor H.E. Mr. José Manuel Albares Bueno, Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain, with invited dignitaries and members of the Diplomatic Corps in Madrid.
Report by Amb. Ronald S. Lauder, WJC President
Report by Mrs. Chella Safra, WJC Treasurer
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