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April 15, 2015 6:07 pm

Israel Launches Initiative to Have Antisemitism Recognized as an International Crime

avatar by David Daoud

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Former Ambassador Alan Baker is launching an initiative to make antisemitism an international crime. PHOTO: Website of Ambassador Alan Baker.

Attorney Alan Baker, Israel’s former ambassador to Canada and a legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry wants antisemitism to be treated as an international crime. In a new Israeli initiative, Baker is proposing that international courts be used to combat global hate crimes against Jews.

Baker has drafted an international convention calling on the “Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Antisemitism.” The Convention, which is drafted in the manner of classical international anti-terrorism treaties and those for other crimes, will allow countries to cooperate and exchange information with others, in order to extradite those suspected of acts that meet the definition of antisemitism, Israel’s NRG reported in Wednesday.

“We need to set down clear rules on what constitutes antisemitism and to set up international codes to prevent it. We expect that the initiative will be thoroughly discussed among all entities and countries that are engaging antisemitism on a global scale,” said Baker.

Explaining the need for the Convention, Baker noted that, “everyone knows to condemn antisemitism, but they are not doing what is necessary in order to fight against it on an international legal level.” He added that, “on the other hand, international courts invite people from around the world to account for various crimes. We think that this is precisely the place to also work decisively and unambiguously against antisemitism.”

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, where Mr. Baker is now a fellow, intends to release a draft of the Convention, during a series of conferences at the United Nations, to other international organizations, international capitals, and among Jewish communities and organizations around the world.

This will be done in order to encourage countries to support the initiative and to submit a draft of the Convention to the appropriate UN organizations, in order to obtain international approval of the Convention.

Baker said that, “if the world really wants to work against this terrible phenomenon, the time has come to line up behind the measures that are necessary to be employed against it.”

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