The debate over the IHRA definition of antisemitism

With Professor Yehuda Bauer, and the Romanian Chair of IHRA — Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu

A few days ago, I tweeted about a news story I believed was antisemitic. Comments directed by anonymous diplomatic sources accusing Canada’s former Ambassador to Israel of defending Israel’s interests over Canada’s were a classic antisemitic trope and unacceptable. Former colleagues were incensed that I called these actions out. They were particularly upset I called these actions antisemitic. While I understood their motivation to protect their friends, I was shocked how easily they and other non-Jews feel comfortable in telling me how I should react to acts I perceive as discriminatory. …

Sabine Nölke, Ambassador to the Netherlands and Artur Wilczynski, Ambassador to Norway

By: Sabine Nolke and Artur Wilczynski

“History is what you’ve travelled on and take with you” — Michael Ondaatje

As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, we celebrate our diverse, complex, welcoming society, increasingly seen as a global model of accommodation and respect. Canadians have come, and continue to come, from all over the world, bringing with them virtually every ethnicity, religion and cultural background on Earth, and a thousand different histories.

At times, those things could not be more different — yet here we are, all of us Canadians.

Take the two of us. Artur, the grandson of Holocaust Survivors…

Panel discussion at the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance meeting in Bucharest

A Defining moment for the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance

As the son and grandson of Holocaust survivors, I was humbled when asked to serve as Canada’s new head of delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). I have a deep commitment to pursue this task with passion. I knew I would need to speak up — to share my own experiences — and work to ensure that the memory of my family and millions of other Jewish victims and survivors be kept vibrant and alive.

Unfortunately, most Canadians have no idea what IHRA is. Its work is often technical, focused on issues such as museums, historic sites and…

Andrew and I quietly sat on a bench by Track 5 of the Łodz station waiting for the last train to Warsaw. I was trying to digest the past few days. My notions of the city were deeply rooted in loose stereotypes of Communist decay and the hard memory of personal loss. I expected many of the sights of urban decline. I knew my experience would be infused with my family’s history and the disappearance of the Jewish community of Łodz. I wanted to leave the city at peace with my experience. I wanted to know that people like me…

My brother and I came to Poland to remember our family’s past and to bond. We came to see where members of our family were born and died. I came as an act of defiance — a proclamation of survival and perseverance to those who wanted us to disappear. As a Gay Jewish man I feel an intense commitment to remember what happened to people like me 70 years ago. I need to tell and re-tell the story so we cannot forget. As the generation of Holocaust Survivors succumbs to time, it is up to the children and grandchildren —…

Artur Wilczynski

Married gay, Jewish former Ambassador interested in history, justice and the environment. Former Ambassador, and leader in Canada's intelligence community.

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