Rabbi Sacks’ keynote address on antisemitism in the European Parliament / Statement on Shimon Peres

"The hate that begins with Jews never ends with Jews."

On 27th September 2016, Rabbi Sacks delivered a powerful keynote address entitled 'The Mutating Virus: Understanding Antisemitism' in the European Parliament.

"The appearance of antisemitism in a culture is the first symptom of a disease, the early warning sign of collective breakdown. If Europe allows antisemitism to flourish, that will be the beginning of the end of Europe."

Rabbi Sacks' address opened a conference on the future of Jewish communities in Europe that was hosted by Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, and Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Parliament responsible for Inter-Religious Dialogue.

"Antisemitism means denying the right of Jews to exist as Jews with the same rights as everyone else. The form this takes today is anti-Zionism."

"You are the leaders of Europe. Its future is in your hands. If you do nothing, Jews will leave, European liberty will die, and there will be a moral stain on Europe’s name that all eternity will not erase. Stop it now while there is still time."

Upon hearing the sad news of the passing of Shimon Peres, Rabbi Sacks issued the following statement:

"Shimon Peres was the great visionary of Israeli politics in our time. The tough edge of his early career softened over time into a distinctive economic and technological road map to peace in the Middle East. Though he received the Nobel Prize for the efforts in the Oslo peace process, his greatest achievements came toward the end of his long career in public life, as President of the State of Israel.

"It was in this capacity that he became one of the great statesmen of our time, a living embodiment of the prophet Joel's remark that "Your old men shall dream dreams," helping the young to "see visions." He constructed a compelling vision of hope.

"During those presidential years, he was a living embodiment of much that is best in Israeli and Jewish life, and he was an outstanding ambassador for his people.

"With his death an era has come to an end - marked by a series of outstanding leaders who showed as much courage in pursuit of peace as they did in the course of war. We will mourn him and miss him."


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