The Football Association has told Jewish News why it’s supporting World Jewish Congress’ campaign to mark International Holocaust Memorial Day.
Paul Elliott, chairman of The FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board, said: “It’s important to remember, but it’s also about celebrating the remembrance. There’s been so much adversity going on and it tends to be forgotten because of the world we live in. This is history – important history – and it’s important to remember.
“I was very impressed by the substantive range and the diverse areas of people who are behind this, I think it’s very clever – that it’s gone into sport, business, politics, right the way across a very wide sector to maximise and amplify the message.”
One of the most high-profile men in world football, Chelsea’s Jewish billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, has also backed the campaign, joining his players in holding up the #WeRemember signs, and saying: “There is still much to be done in the fight against anti-Semitism”.
Also speaking about Chelsea launching its campaign to raise awareness of anti-Semitism, Elliott said: “I absolutely hope other clubs take their lead. They’ve shown a tremendous commitment to this, it’s credible they’ve taken the lead and we support it along with any other clubs who will take part in it.”
World Jewish Congress CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer said: “Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the World Jewish Congress is reaching out to millions across the globe to join our We Remember social media campaign and work together to combat anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred, genocide and xenophobia. We launched this campaign last year with the modest hope of reaching six million, as a symbolic gesture to the victims of the Holocaust. It soon became a grassroots and global movement, reaching more than 250 million people; this year, we have already reached more than 220 million people in just two weeks of the campaign.
“In today’s digital age, social media is the only tool that can allow us to connect the world together with this message, reaching out to the younger generation in a language and platform they use. The value of having prominent sports clubs and role models taking part in addressing this crucial issue cannot be overstated. The WJC’s We Remember campaign is above all an educational initiative, aimed at reminding the world that unless we remember, these horrors can happen again.”
Footballers, such as Brighton & Hove Albion’s Israeli striker Tomer Hemed, showed his support for the campaign, while football clubs across Europe, including in Germany’s Bundesliga, paid their respects.
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