At a Capitol Hill hearing on global anti-Semitism, B’nai B’rith International Director of Legislative Affairs Eric Fusfield told the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the U.S. Helsinki Commission): “The effort by Israel’s relentless critics to denigrate the Jewish state is not only evidence that anti-Semitism is alive and well 66 years after the Holocaust—this new variation of the world’s oldest social illness actually poses a security threat to the Jewish state by intensifying its international isolation.”
During the hearing, “Combating Anti-Semitism in the OSCE Region: Taking Stock of the Situation Today,” Fusfield also testified: “While much has been done to fight anti-Semitism in the past decade, much work remains. The need for practical and effective strategies to combat and defeat this pathology is still crucial.”
There are 56 North American, European and Central Asian countries that comprise the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Fusfield noted the importance of acknowledging the anniversaries of important and meaningful conferences of the past as a way to challenge OSCE members to “follow through on their commitments” to fight anti-Semitism.
And he told the committee that they must reaffirm “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.”
Fusfield concluded: “B’nai B’rith pledges its ongoing cooperation as we all confront the challenge of combating anti-Semitism together. The history of European Jewry in the past century is a tragic one. Let us be mindful of that history; let us speak out; let us use our influence; and let us act now. History demands nothing less from us.”
Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.), Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, chaired the hearing. Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.) is co-chairman of the commission.
Also testifying: Hannah Rosenthal, U.S. Department of State Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, and representatives from other Jewish groups.
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