At the end of November, Prof. Uriya Shavit, the Head of the Institute, traveled to Riga, Latvia, and Helsinki, Finland, where he spoke to and briefed senior government officials and parliamentarians, members of local Jewish communities, and university students and professors on the current state of antisemitism and the Israel-Hamas War. He also conducted several interviews with the local press in each country. The trip was organized by the Israel Foreign Ministry, the Embassy of Israel in Latvia and the Embassy of Israel in Finland.

In his talks at the Latvian parliament, the Janis Lipke Museum, and the University of Latvia, Prof. Shavit spoke about Hamas, its hateful ideology, and what Israel must do to defeat it, as well as addressed whether criticism of Israel is antisemitic and discussed the links between criticism of Israel and the rise in antisemitism in times of conflict. In his briefings in Finland to members of parliament – including the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Kimmo Kiljunen – and the local Jewish community, Prof. Shavit spoke about the current state of antisemitism, incidents of which spiked considerably following Hamas’ October 7 attack. He also provided a strategic overview of the war and other threats Israel is currently confronting.