Real or Rigged “International Conference on Fascism and Antisemitism” in Vilnius on 9 November?
Yet again, a conference here in the Lithuanian capital dedicated to combating fascism and antisemitism is announced, without there having been a public call for papers, without a single speaker from among those who actually combat fascism and antisemitism in the country, with nobody from the democratically elected Vilnius Jewish community (not even the long-time editor of Jerusalem of Lithuania who has exposed and combated antisemitism for decades). No Holocaust survivors. None of the nationally relevant questions of the day can be found on the conference program. As ever, outstanding academic personalities from abroad are recruited to lend the gravitas and provide serious papers on an array of topics (which they admirably do), as long as these have little directly to do with the actual contemporary issues here in Lithuania (but the conference introduction by Prof. Dovilė Budrytė does indeed touch on some of the issues, which seem, however, to be largely absent from the actual conference program). The last such event, in 2015, resulted in the Norwegian Embassy withdrawing support and launching an inquiry on behalf of the EEA (European Economic Area) funders of that event.
To make matters worse, the program is skewed to provide further glory for various leaders (and their relatives) of the current rigged-election bosses of the “official” Jewish community that is largely state-sponsored (indeed, the restitution-controlling “Good Will Foundation” is itself a major conference sponsor). The community’s election rules were changed last spring mid-campaign (an act found to be prima facie illegal by the courts) to disenfranchise the 2,200 Jews of Vilnius while gifting electoral power to a roomful of oligarchs (and that was carried out with a small army of security guards that kept members of the community out of their own community premises). Given the official leadership’s condemnation of the Vilnius community’s honest elections as one of “Russian speakers who call themselves Jews,” the goings-on in the hijacked official Jewish community (which allegedly include letting go of Jewish employees in higher admin positions) themselves merit a research paper at an academic conference on antisemitism (more on this by DH, JTA, Pinchos Fridberg, Leonas Kaplanas, Josifas Parasonis).
Shockingly, not a single representative of the democratically elected Vilnius Jewish Community board, comprising 21 elected members, is on the program, even to deliver a one-minute greeting. There is still some time to fix this, and perhaps at long last the Israeli Embassy, itself on t