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Rabbi Eric Fusfield, B’nai B’rith International’s deputy director of ICHRPP and director of legislative affairs, spoke on September 29, 2022 at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Conference in Warsaw, Poland. Below are his full remarks.


Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates:

For nearly two decades, the OSCE has taken up the urgent struggle against rising anti-Semitism.  The historic 2004 Berlin Declaration, which provided a series of important recommendations for governments to follow in combating anti-Semitism, specifically addressed the growing problem of anti-Semitic attacks being committed by opponents of Israel’s policies.  The passage stating that “international developments or political issues, including those in Israel or elsewhere in the Middle East, never justify anti-Semitism” stands as an important rebuff to those who try to justify hate crimes with politics.  

The OSCE’s objectives in this area have been supported by ODIHR’s indispensable tolerance and non-discrimination unit, which carries out the important work of combating hatreds each day and which includes an expert advisor on anti-Semitism, and by the appointment of the Chairman-in-Office’s three personal representatives on combating intolerance.

In 2016 the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) adopted a working definition of anti-Semitism that clearly illustrates the many dimensions of the problem, including hatred of Jews on the far right, the far left, and among radical extremists.  This definition should be widely promoted within the OSCE region to educate public officials, journalists, teachers, and others about the contemporary manifestations of anti-Semitism. 

While much has been done to fight anti-Semitism in the past decade or more, much work remains.  The need for practical and effective strategies to combat and defeat this pathology is still crucial.  To this end,

  • We must continue to affirm commitments made at the landmark 2004 Berlin conference and should convene a 20th anniversary conference in 2024 to assess the implementation of those commitments.
  • We must enhance funding for ODIHR’s Tolerance and Non-Discrimination unit, which has now become a fixed and integral part of the OSCE’s work.  We must enable the TND unit to sustain and expand its critical activities, which include educational programs on anti-Semitism in more than a dozen countries.
  • We must devote greater resources and attention to addressing online anti-Semitism and bolstering the security of Jewish institutions vulnerable to physical attacks.
  • Member-states must fulfill their reporting requirements with respect to hate crimes data.  Far too few governments have done so until now.
  • Finally, we must strongly reinforce the crucial principle declared at the 2004 Berlin Conference – That no political position, cause, or grievance can ever justify anti-Semitism – and make clear that the demonization and delegitimization of the Jewish state is often none other than a pretext for the hatred of Jews themselves.


Eric Fusfield, Esq. has been B’nai B’rith International’s director of legislative affairs since 2003 and deputy director of the B’nai B’rith International Center for Human Rights and Public Policy since 2007. He holds a B.A. from Columbia University in history; an M.St. in modern Jewish studies from Oxford University; and a J.D./M.A. from American University in law and international affairs. Click here to read more from Eric Fusfield.