The International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism convened earlier this month in Malmö, Sweden. According to the Swedish government, “The programme focused on four main themes: Holocaust remembrance; Holocaust education; Antisemitism on social media platforms; and Combating antisemitism and other forms of racism in all spheres of life.” While the forum served as an important call to combat antisemitism in Europe and beyond, human rights advocates warn that the European Union is creeping dangerously close to criminalizing the speech of any who speak out against Israel’s settler-colonial and apartheid violence against Palestinians by conflating Judaism with Zionism and critiques of Zionism with antisemitism.
In this interview, recorded from the Netherlands, TRNN contributor David Kattenburg speaks with Ronnie Barkan and Dr. Anne de Jong about the deeply troubling effort to stifle critiques of Israel and the chilling repercussions it could have in Europe and beyond. Anne de Jong is a member of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Amsterdam with a regional expertise on the Middle East (Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Bahrain); she was also an organizing member and participant in the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Ronnie Barkan is an Israeli activist, a conscientious objector, and co-founder of Boycott From Within—a group of Israelis who support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS).