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Czech lawmakers overwhelmingly condemn anti-Semitism, boycotting of Israel

With waves of anti-Semitic incidents sweeping Europe, the Czech Republic took an intentional stand for the nation of Israel when its Chamber of Deputies voted to condemn anti-Semitism and boycotting of Israel.

The resolution, which passed overwhelmingly with 120 votes to 20 on Tuesday, is non-binding yet strongly condemns “all manifestations of anti-Semitism directed against individuals, religious institutions, organizations as well as the State of Israel, including the denial of the Holocaust.”

Jan Bartošek, head of the Christian Democrats faction in the chamber, introduced the resolution saying it was “necessary to clearly define ourselves” as anti-Semitism increases across Europe.

Likely in response to the Yom Kippur attack at a German synagogue, which was unprotected, the resolution also calls for “greater security” for people and institutions that could be targeted by anti-Semitism. The government should also withhold financial support from and condemn groups that promote a boycott of Israel and reject “any questioning of the State of Israel’s right of existence and defense,” according to the resolution.

Israel was grateful for this bold show of support.

“I would like to thank the Czech Chamber of Deputies for its unequivocal condemnation of anti-Semitism and steadfast support of Israel.  mOnce again we witness the special relations between the Czech Republic and Israel and the Czech rejection of any form of anti-Semitism.” —Daniel Meron, Israel’s ambassador in Prague

The chamber’s Friends of Israel caucus is the largest “friend group” with 58 members out of a total of 200 lawmakers as members.

“We regard Israel as our true ally in the fight against Islamic terrorism,” MP Tomio Okamura said, calling the Jewish “a role model” for his country.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz also thanked the Czechs for adopting this “important resolution.”

“I wish to thank our Czech friends for this step, which reflects the true friendship between our countries. I call on more Parliaments to follow suit,” —Foreign Minister Israel Katz

The Czech Republic opened a cultural center last year in Jerusalem in what it called a “first step” toward opening an official embassy in the Israeli capital.

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