Crif President Francis Kalifat, Crif vice-president and Chairman of the International Relations Committee, Yonathan Arfi, warmly thanked HE Mr. Hans-Dieter Lucas, German Ambassador to France for having accepted the invitation to speak within this Commission.
The Ambassador began by recalling that the celebration of the 1,700 years of Jewish presence in Germany (the trace of which dates back to a decree of the Emperor Constantine in 321) was above all an opportunity to review the country's Jewish history, to raise awareness of the diversity of Jewish life in Germany but also insist on the need to fight against the resurgence of anti-Semitism in the country, 75 years after the Holocaust.
The Ambassador thus underlined that, within the framework of this commemorative year, more than 500 initiatives dedicated to Jewish life in Germany and to the fight against antisemitism have already been taken by museums, universities, parishes, etc. ., supported by the German state. He also praised the work of Félix Klein, federal government delegate for Jewish life in Germany and the fight against antisemitism.
Mr. Lucas recalled that "German Jews are fully at home in Germany," and denounced the very significant increase in antisemitic acts both in 2020 and this year during the current conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Members of the Committee also praised the quality of the diplomatic relationship between Israel and Germany, hoping that it could lead to a more balanced European position.
Crif President Francis Kalifat finally underlined the pioneering role played by Germany in the fight against antisemitism on the Internet, whose recent particularly advanced legislation makes access providers responsible for removing illegal content in the Internet within 24 hours under penalty of heavy financial penalties. He hopes that the positive assessment report on the law aimed at improving the application of the law on social networks approved by the Federal Council of Ministers in September 2020 will help shed light on the debate in France. According to the conclusions of this report, the intended objectives have been achieved to a large extent and only certain points still need to be improved.
The Chairman of the Committee on International Relations Yonathan Arfi thanked the Ambassador for his intervention and recalled the long working relationship between Crif and the German Embassy in Paris.