Washington, DC, April 8, 2004 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the United States to continue to play an active role in spurring European governments to take action against the rising tide of anti-Semitism that has afflicted Jewish communities across Europe.
In testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe, Caryl M. Stern, ADL Associate National Director, urged members of Congress and the U.S. government to press European leaders to do more to respond to and to counter anti-Semitism.
"There has been progress, but the problem will grow until European leaders do more to speak out and to counter Middle Eastern sources of anti-Semitism flowing into Europe," Ms. Stern told members of the subcommittee. "U.S. diplomacy has been the vital tool for promoting and rewarding morally responsible action and for calling governments on their shortcomings. This continues to be an uphill battle, and continued U.S. leadership is essential."
Ms. Stern stressed the importance of securing condemnation of anti-Semitism within international forums, including the Organization for Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union, and the United Nations, where "explicit recognition and condemnation is still lacking." She also stressed the need for greater monitoring of anti-Semitic incidents and expression throughout Europe.
"The very process of data collection is a powerful mechanism to confront violent bigotry," Ms. Stern said. "Studies have repeatedly shown that victims of hate crimes are more likely to report the crime if they know that a special reporting system is in place. Moreover, the more crimes reported, the better informed the public becomes of the extent of the problem and thus the more demand for a solution, and a willingness to be part of the solution."
ADL offered the following suggestions to the subcommittee on how European and other nations should respond to the ongoing threat of anti-Semitism:
- Nations should adopt comprehensive hate crime data collection laws and provide training to appropriate law enforcement professionals in how to identify, report and respond to hate crimes.
- Governments should fund national assessments of hate violence, its causes, the prevalence of the problem in state schools, the characteristics of the offenders and the victims, and successful intervention and diversion strategies for juveniles.
- The OSCE must take a much more proactive approach to encourage states to institute data collection laws or mechanisms.
- Congress should ask the State Department to require explicit reporting from U.S. embassies around the world on anti-Semitism and to assess government responses to the problem.