January 19, 2010

Remembering Wallenberg: The role of diplomacy in addressing antisemitism

The IRWF participated in a morning session to remember Raoul Wallenberg, which was held in The Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism, at the Tel Aviv University

The session was entitled ”Remembering Wallenberg: The role of diplomacy in addressing antisemitism” and was held in Tel Aviv University.

The session was chaired by Professor Dina Porat, Head of the Stephen Roth Institute, and the speakers were H.E. Henri Etoundi Essomba, Ambassador of Cameroon in Israel, Dr. Edward Rettig, Acting Director of the American Jewish Committee in Jerusalem, and Rabbi Andrew Baker, Personal Representative of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) Chair-in-Office on combating antisemitism.

Among the panelists were Mr. Danny Rainer, Vice-President of the IRWF and members of the Diplomatic Corps in Israel, such as HE Edward Iosiper, Ambassador of Romania, H.E. Annika Ben David, Deputy Head of Mission of the Swedish Embassy, H.E. Barakat El Leithy, First Secretary of the Embassy of Egypt, and many other Ambassadors and diplomats.

Mr. Rainer underscored the importance of remembering Raoul Wallenberg, who exactly 65 years ago, on January 17th., 1945, together with his driver, was abducted by the Soviet forces in Budapest, never to be seen again. In his address he prompted the diplomatic representatives to ask their respective governments to join in the IRWF’s quest to secure credible information from the Russian authorities regarding Raoul Wallenberg’s fate and whereabouts. ”If he is dead, something yet to be proven, he deserves to have a grave”, added Mr. Rainer.

The event concluded with the award of the Annual Wallenberg Scholarship to Dr. Isaac Lubelsky, who is doing a post-doctoral research at Tel Aviv University concerning the British attitudes towards minorities.