Jewish Communities and Western Democracies: What's the Future?

On October 29 – 31, 2017 Prague hosts the 2017 B'nai B'rith International Leadership Forum/B'nai B'rith Europe Convention. The international conference titled „Jewish Communities and Western Democracies: What is the Future?“ has attracted many interesting personalities such as the Israeli ambassador Daniel M. Meron who opened the conference by appreciating the well-based Czech-Israeli relations: „We value the support the Czech Republic expresses long-term to the State of Israel and the Jewish people,“ he stated.

On the first conference day, the Czech Minister of Culture Daniel Herman stressed our duty to fight antisemitism as our democracy has Jewish-Christian roots and noted that whoever targets the Jews or the State of Israel, misuses the freedom of speech. The keynote address has later been delivered by special guest Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, who sees as „an alarming sign for Europe when its oldest minority senses that things go in the wrong direction. The Jewish community is the early-warning system for our open, liberal societies.“ Jourová also made an interesting and up to date remark when she noted: „I am criticised for combating against online hate speech. Recently, I have been approached by a young journalist, who told me that >It may not be nice to call for killing others but it must be protected by the freedom of speech anyways. < This is the time I realised how far we got in freedom of speech.“
Dan Schueftan, Director of the National Security Studies Centre at the University of Haifa has concluded the panel session with his message that: „The major danger of open societies is the polarisation on both left and the right. We need to restore the middle ground.“