Albania hosts online Balkan anti-Semitism forum

TIRANA (AP) — On Wednesday, Albania organized an online platform against anti-Semitism and Premier Edi Rama named an anti-Semitism "a danger to our own civilisation." This was the first time that this was held in the Balkans.

In collaboration with the New York-owned Fight Anti-Semitism Campaign (CAM) and the Jewish Organization for Israel, the Balkans Conference Against Anti-Semitism was established by the Albanian Parliament.

The virus pandemic was detected online.

"The anti-Semitism, which is a challenge to our own society ... on which our shared future is founded, we have to proceed, we have to fight," said Rama.

The InternationalHolocaust Remembrance Coalition, which defines hate speech and other actions discrimination against the Jewish community or the State, their properties or religious objects, overwhelmingly accepted by the Albanian Parliament last week.

The ratification was dubbed a 'landmark decision,' and other countries were invited to participate.

The organizers said on Wednesday's forum "including the removement of hate and racism from our voice, the development of a more inclusive Europe between the Balkans," which they called on them to jointly act in opposition to anti-semitism.

Top regional figures, United States.

State Secretary Michael R. Pompeos and other Balkan, European and U.S. officials engaged.

"See to it that citizens of all religions will reside side by side and prosper together in unity," said Pompeo in his address.

Albania boasts that it was the only place, during the Second World War, where no Jews were killed or handed over to the Nazis and their numbers rose from 600 to over 2000 before the war.

The Albanians sheltered Jewish citizens and supported other Jews, who were either smuggling them abroad or shielding them from Germany , Austria and other nations.

From September 1943 to November 1944, Nazi German troops invaded Albania until local Communist backers drove them back.

Only after the collapse of the Communist dictatorship in 1991, a tiny Jewish minority in Albania fled the country for Israel.