Prosecutors and investigators are taking part in a seminar on countering anti-Semitism, organized by Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Embassy of the State of Israel

17 July 2023

Deputy Prosecutor General Maria Pavlova and Deputy Head of the Diplomatic Mission of the State of Israel to Bulgaria Naama Levi opened a two-day seminar dedicated to countering anti-Semitism at the Palace of Justice in Sofia.

Prosecutors and investigators from Sofia Appellate District and the National Investigation Service are taking part in the forum. Speakers are representatives of the academic community and legal practitioners from the State of Israel, who comment on issues related to global anti-Semitism, radicalization of extreme right-wing formations and present practical methods of combating manifestations of aggression and segregation and the crimes caused by them.

Deputy Prosecutor General Maria Pavlova expressed special thanks to the guests from Tel Aviv University, who present to the participants their experience and practice in the field of fundamental rights protection, the fight against discrimination and anti-Semitism.

"Intolerance to hatred and violence is among the most important causes of our time. How we cope with this task depends on whether we will preserve the common human values of equality, justice and humanism," said Maria Pavlova. She emphasized that in its history, Bulgaria has shown absolute intolerance towards any manifestations of anti-Semitism and called on: "to follow the lessons of tolerance of generations of Bulgarians and not to overlook even the sporadic, but still worrying signals of discrimination and hate speech".

Maria Pavlova underlined that the holding the seminar coincides with the annual commemorative ceremony organized by the Municipality of Burgas and the Embassy of the State of Israel in our country, in commemoration of the victims of attack at Sarafovo Airport on 18 July 2012.

Naama Levy, Deputy Head of the Diplomatic Mission of the State of Israel to Bulgaria, stated that the fight against hate speech is a global challenge, as this phenomenon usually precedes aggression and physical violence. "The development of new technologies provides many opportunities, but at the same time it turns into driver for hate speech and aggression. Together we have a duty to protect our children from these phenomena so that they can grow up to be dignified and equal participants in our societies. Indifference to the problem is dangerous."

Angel Bandzhov, Director of the Human Rights Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, emphasized that Bulgaria systematically opposes all manifestations of anti-Semitism within the international organizations it participates in, and a Plan to combat anti-Semitism is currently being drafted, including as part of Bulgaria's commitments as a member of the European Union. "There is no vaccine invented to immunize societies against discrimination and hate speech. The history is also not black and white, but we must remember it", said Angel Bandzhov.