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World leaders gather in Israel for the World Holocaust Forum

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World leaders gather in Israel for the World Holocaust Forum
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (R) during a joint statement with the President Emmanuel Macron of France on Wednesday in Jerusalem. The fifth World Holocaust Forum is hosted by Rivlin. Pool Photo by Alef Safadi/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Dozens of world leaders gathered in Jerusalem Wednesday for the World Holocaust Forum, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

As of Wednesday afternoon, French President Emmanuel Macron, a bipartisan U.S. delegation headed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and leaders of several other European nations had arrived in Israel, with more dignitaries expected to appear Thursday for the event, entitled "Remembering the Holocaust: Fighting Antisemitism."

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Organized by the World Holocaust Forum Foundation in cooperation with the Holocaust remembrance center Yad Vashem, the fifth World Holocaust Forum is hosted by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

"This historic event takes place against the background of the rise in hateful and violent expressions of antisemitism, especially in Europe," forum organizers said in a statement. "Given this alarming situation, efforts to educate about the dangers of antisemitism, racism and xenophobia and foster Holocaust commemoration, education and research have made this event more crucial and relevant than ever."

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Macron and Pelosi's group met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday. U.S. President Mike Pence and Trump administration adviser Jared Kushner are scheduled to arrive Thursday, as is Britain's Prince Charles and other dignitaries.

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After meeting with Netanyahu, Macron joined Rivlin and a press conference where they echoed the forum organizers' concerns about the rise of anti-Semitic sentiments in Europe.

"We can see the dark shadow cast by anti-Semitism as it spreads over Europe, indicating an illness and a great danger," Macron said. "I am committed to continuing the fight against anti-Semitism, racism, hate and all that divide our society."

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Macron and Netanyahu also announced they had launched a "strategic dialogue" aimed at continuing cooperation and promoting the two nations' "common interests" and security.

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