Preventing Violent Extremism
Addressing anti-Semitism through education
Anti-Semitism is a security issue for Jewish communities and individuals in regions across the world and the driving force of a range of violent extremist ideologies. Like all forms of intolerance and discrimination, anti-Semitism has a profound impact on the whole of society, undermining democratic values and human rights. In recent years, the changing geopolitical climate and media environment have led to a situation where open anti-Semitism is no longer confined to extremist circles and has become increasingly mainstreamed.
International organizations and national authorities in several countries have developed comprehensive approaches to address the challenge. Despite this, preventing anti-Semitism through education and addressing its manifestations in education environments remains a challenge for policy-makers and educators.
To respond to these challenges, UNESCO has integrated addressing anti-Semitism through education into its activities related to the prevention of violent extremism through education and the promotion of global citizenship. To strengthen these efforts, UNESCO collaborates with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in the framework of ODIHR’s project Turning Words into Action to Address Anti-Semitism. UNESCO contributes to the educational dimension of the project with a view to equip education policymakers with guidelines on this issue. UNESCO and ODIHR work together to identify gaps and promote effective practices, key policies and pedagogies to address anti-Semitism through and in education.
Guidance for policymakers
UNESCO and the OSCE have jointly developed a policy guide, entitled Addressing anti-Semitism through Education – Guidelines for Policymakers, which was first presented to the 28 Ministers of Education meeting at the Council of the European Union on 22 May 2018 and was launched on 4 June 2018 at UNESCO Headquarters. The policy guide suggests concrete ways to address anti-Semitism through education, within a human rights framework. It also provides policy-makers with tools and guidance to ensure that education systems build the resilience of young people to anti-Semitic ideas and ideologies and all forms of intolerance and discrimination.
- Testimony Speaks: Countering Antisemitism
USC Shoah Foundation’s Countering Antisemitism Through Testimony Program integrates contemporary personal stories of witnesses to antisemitism into outreach, education and research programs to help counter anti-Semitism today. Newly recorded testimonies from Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States are being used to engage audiences to develop their understanding of anti-Semitism as a dangerous form of hate and one of several facets of hatred that threaten all of humanity. In 2013, USC named Executive Director Stephen Smith the UNESCO Chair in Genocide Education.
- Steven T. Katz: We need a new strategy for responding to current Judeophobia
- Rabbi Andrew Baker: Countering Anti-Semitism Today
- Robert Badinter: Anti-Semitism: Learning the lessons of history