Guterres appeals for global action against hatred

 UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

United Nations, (Asian independent) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appealed for global action against hatred and underscored the need for the world to return to reason.

“We must stand together against hatred in all its forms. Our world today needs a return to reason — and a rejection of the lies and loathing that propelled the Nazis and that fracture societies today,” Xinhua news agency quoted the UN chief as saying on Monday.

The remarks were part of his virtual message he made upon receiving the World Jewish Congress’ (WJC) highest honour, the WJC Theodor Herzl Award, which recognizes outstanding individuals who work to promote Theodor Herzl’s ideals for a safer, more tolerant world for the Jewish people.

Guterres said that in recent months, “a steady stream of prejudice has continued to blight our world: anti-Semitic assaults, harassment and vandalism; Holocaust denial; a guilty plea in a neo-Nazi plot to blow up a synagogue”.

“And with Covid-19, another virus has spread — anti-Semitism and hatred of many kinds. Age-old blood libels have been given new life.

“Other groups have also been falsely accused — and faced not just vilification but violence,” said Guterres.

Noting that “disinformation and conspiracy theories have gained alarming ground and come in different forms”, he said that they “all traffic in the same venom: dehumanizing and scapegoating the other, whether it is Jews, Muslims, migrants, refugees, and so many others”.

“We must fight on two fronts: the pandemic and the poison,” he said, adding that “solidarity within and among countries will be crucial”.

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s award was presented during a virtual gala.

At the online event held on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, also called the November Pogroms, was a pogrom against Jews carried out by Sturmabteilung paramilitary forces and civilians throughout Nazi Germany on November 9-10, 1938.