Geront Kureta, president of the Jewish community in Albania, thanked Albanians for rescuing more than 2,000 Jews during World War II.
During the Balkan Forum against Anti-Semitism held on Wednesday, Kureta stated that Tirana can today be fearlessly called the ‘Jerusalem of the Balkans’ because of the religious harmony that characterizes it:
“Here the Jews were saved thanks to the tolerance of the Albanian nation. We are proud of the tolerance, the harmony fostered here.
Sarajevo was once called the Jerusalem of the Balkans, with Orthodox, Catholic churches standing alongside synagogues and mosques. Today, Tirana is the Jerusalem of the Balkans with religious harmony and coexistence.”
The Balkan Forum Against Anti Semitism was held to create a “united front’ to combat anti-Semitism. It was the first event of its kind and was organised by the Albanian parliament in collaboration with the Combat Anti-Semitic Movement and the Jewish Agency for Israel.
Last week, Albania passed a resolution on antisemitism. MPs Taulant Balla and Blerina Gjylameti urged the government to fight the phenomenon and take measures to fight it.
“Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which can be expressed as hatred of Jews. “Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed at Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, institutions and religious sites of the Jewish community.”