With the World Holocaust Forum set to begin on January 23, walls located outside of Jerusalem's Old City reflected digital representations of various national flags and messages welcoming guests to Jerusalem in all the national languages. The purpose of this decoration is to honour all the world leaders attending the World Holocaust Forum in Israel.
A tweet with a video showed that the light projection of every national flag along with the welcome message was then replaced by another country's flag as soon as the previous one faded out.
Walls outside of Jerusalem's Old City lit up with various flags and "Welcome to Jerusalem" in the national languages. All this in honor of the many heads of state and officials visiting Israel for the #WorldHolocaustForum this week.— Meira Haber 🇮🇱 (@HaberMeira) January 21, 2020
Welcome to Israel! 🇮🇱🌍 pic.twitter.com/HtKzIRXPLa
Numerous world leaders came to Jerusalem on January 23 for the WHF that focused on remembering the Holocaust and tackling the issue of antisemitism in today's time. According to reports, French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin and United States Vice President Mike Pence were among a host of dignitaries attending the World Holocaust Forum, which is taking place alongside the 75th anniversary of the freedom of the Auschwitz death camp.
According to reports, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said the role of leaders in the political sphere is to shape the future and the large political gathering provided an opportunity for Benjamin Nethanyahu to further cement Israel's diplomatic standing as a country.
The World Holocaust Forum was founded by the head of European Jewish Congress Moshe Kantor. The European Jewish Congress is a group that represents Jewish communities living across Europe. The group reported that 80 per cent of the Jews do not feel safe in Europe. Kantor established the World Economic Forum in the year 2005 and has conducted forums in Babi Yar, Auschwitz and the former concentration camp located in Terezin and January 23's event is the first time the forum is being conducted in Israel.
The WHF comes at a time when there has been a spike in anti-semitic violence. According to reports, violent attacks targetting Jews increased in the year 2018. A total of 400 cases were recorded. In Germany, a 70 per cent increase was recorded in anti-semitic violence against Jews. Pope Francis expressed his hope that with ongoing vigilance against such crimes and education on such matters, the violence representing one of the darkest periods of human history will be completely eradicated.
Organizers of the World Holocaust Forum have been subject to criticism for properly not including Holocaust survivors in the event and instead shift their focus on world leaders attending the event. According to reports, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on January 23 said that his country's delegation was going to offer their seats to the Holocaust survivors.
We learnt that many of the Holocaust survivors have not been able to visit the World Holocaust Forum. Our delegation gave them our seats, as many Israeli ministers did. These people deserve these honors most of all. We will participate in all events and hold scheduled meetings— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) January 23, 2020