New York, NY, February 27, 2013 … Calling the election of neo-Nazi parties to European parliaments “one of the most alarming setbacks in the fight against anti-Semitism,” the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged members of Congress to mobilize a voice against the return of political anti-Semitism.
In testimony on Capitol Hill (PDF) to the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, ADL highlighted egregious examples of anti-Semitic rhetoric by neo-Nazi parliamentarians during official debates, including reading from the infamous anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, in the Hungarian and Greek parliaments.
“The United States must urge responsible foreign political leaders to take a strong stand against these neo-Nazi parties, using their bully pulpit and their laws,” said Andrew Srulevitch, ADL Director of European Affairs. “While there are many xenophobic parties in Europe, three stand out as true neo-Nazi parties: Jobbik in Hungary, Golden Dawn in Greece, and Svoboda in Ukraine. Their political platforms are anti-democratic manifestos of racial purity, their anti-Semitism is blatant, and the first two have uniformed militias that assault minorities. Unlike other xenophobic parties, they don’t want to join the mainstream, but to upend it.”
The League documents and exposes anti-Semitism around the world and disseminates reports on the subject. As part of its testimony to the House Subcommittee, ADL pointed to dozens of recent examples of virulently anti-Semitic speech, attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions, and anti-Semitic editorial cartoons appearing in newspapers.
The US should let our allies know that addressing anti-Semitism and hate crime is part of our bilateral agenda. The State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism should place this on the Secretary of State’s agenda with foreign leaders. Congress has a central role to play in promoting this issue within the State Department and in bilateral contacts and outreach to foreign officials.
US reporting on anti-Semitism as a human rights and religious freedom issue is an indispensable tool in spotlighting the problem and for US diplomatic action.
Continued support for a strong Special Envoy will ensure that the US maintains a specialized focus on anti-Semitism and a dedicated effort to mobilize the arsenal of US diplomatic tools to respond.
Recently introduced training on anti-Semitism in the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute gives diplomats the understanding and tools to recognize anti-Semitism and the contemporary forms it takes. The training should be maintained
Outreach to Jewish communities is one way to facilitate data collection and connect Jewish communities with US resources and efforts.
The US should make clear to emerging leaders in Middle Eastern countries in political transition that anti-Semitism and demonization of Israelis and Jews is unacceptable and inappropriate in any democratic societies.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.