Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has become the first European municipal leader to join Mayors United Against Anti-Semitism, an initiative calling on municipal leaders to publicly address and take concrete actions against anti-Semitism.
The initiative was launched in July by the American Jewish Committee, an advocacy organization which announced Hidalgo’s participation in a press release on Wednesday.
“The city has a responsibility to fight anti-Semitism, otherwise it will develop in the midst of it,” Hidalgo was quoted as saying. “Paris, which is home to the biggest Jewish community of Europe, needs to be a pioneer in the fight against hate so that other cities can benefit from its expertise and commitment.”
More than 300 mayors and municipal leaders from 47 states across the United States have so far signed the Mayors Against Anti-Semitism manifesto, which states that “in a world of global communications, where anti-Semitic ideas can and do spread quickly, the impact of the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe does not stop at Europe’s borders.”
According to AJC Executive Director David Harris, “anti-Semitism is a cancer that, left unchecked, will metastasize and threaten to destroy the democratic and pluralistic nature of Europe.”
The initiative is based on a core set of principles, including the condemnation of anti-Jewish hatred in all forms; rejection of the notion that anti-Semitic acts may ever be justified by one’s view on the actions or existence of the State of Israel; a declaration that anti-Semitism and any prejudices due to religious differences are inconsistent with core democratic values; and the belief that the promotion of mutual understanding and respect among all citizens is essential to good governance and democratic life.