Leaders of the J7 Task Force Meet with UN Secretary General

J7 Leaders with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Photo: © ADL

Leaders of the J7, the Large Jewish Communities’ Task Force Against Antisemitism, whose communities comprise the majority of the world’s diaspora Jews, met today with United Nations Secretary General António Guterres as part of a series of meetings on the sidelines of the ADL’s (Anti-Defamation League) 2024 Never Is Now Summit in New York City.

Meeting with Guterres at the UN’s headquarters, the J7 leaders raised the sharp rise in global antisemitism since Oct. 7, the plight of the hostages in Gaza, the UN’s inadequate approach to Israel in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 massacre, and its delayed and flawed response to Hamas’ horrifying sexual violence against Israeli women. The delegates from seven countries also raised the need for the UN to address the systemic failures of UNWRA, and called on the Secretary General to consider alternative options in order to meet the humanitarian needs in Gaza.

J7 Task Force © ADL

J7 Task Force © ADL

 

The J7 leaders issued the following statement:

In our meeting with the UN Secretary General, we called for UN action in response to the explosion of antisemitism across the globe, which threatens Jewish communities everywhere. We urged the Secretary General to use the power of his position to work for the immediate release of the 134 hostages still being held in Gaza, and to address the systemic failures of UNRWA, including its inherent anti-Israel bias and the shocking revelations that UNRWA staff participated in the October 7 atrocities.

J7 Meeting at United Nations
In the meeting, the Secretary General expressed his commitment to doing all he can to work for the immediate release of all the hostages held by Hamas and showed great empathy for the hostages and their families. He condemned all forms of antisemitism, and asserted unequivocally that there is no justification for the Hamas attack on October 7.

The meeting with the Secretary General marked the conclusion of three days of J7 consultations in New York, led by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations, which holds the rotating chair. Also meeting for the first time was the J7 Campus Working Group, led by Jewish student leaders from seven countries. Gathered on the sidelines of the ADL Never Is Now Summit, the J7 asserted the following principles:

The J7 is alarmed and mobilized in the face of the explosion and pervasiveness of global antisemitism. We affirm that anti-Zionism is antisemitism and that its normalisation is an alarming reality in each of our communities. Our communities will continue to advocate for the adoption of and, more importantly, the implementation of the IHRA working definition of antisemitism.

Our universities must not serve as safe havens for antisemitism. Academic institutions must enact and enforce codes of conduct to address antisemitism. Governments must hold these institutions accountable.

There is no context in which antisemitism, including anti-Zionism, can be excused or justified.

The J7 Task Force is comprised of the following nations and member organisations: Argentina: Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas (DAIA); Australia: Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ); Canada: Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA); France: Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF); Germany: Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland (Central Council of Jews in Germany); United Kingdom: Board of Deputies of British Jews; United States (ADL and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations).

The J7, the Large Communities’ Task Force Against Antisemitism, was formed in response to increasing rates of antisemitism around the world and comprises major Jewish organisations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Argentina and Australia.

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