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Advancing the Fight Against Anti-Semitism in the Osce Region: Education and Law Enforcement Model Programs

Commission for Security and Cooperation in Europe Briefing

May 9, 2006

Statement by the Anti-Defamation League
Stacy Burdett
Associate Director, Government and National Affairs

Since 1913, ADL has worked to expose and counter anti-Semitism, and all forms of bigotry.  We are grateful to the Helsinki Commission for holding this briefing and for its diligent and ongoing efforts to keep this issue on the front burner in Washington and in the capitals of all the OSCE Participating States.  We are honored that ADL has been part of this Commission’s efforts against anti-Semitism in the OSCE region for many years. 

Current Trends and Data
While, in many of the countries where data on anti-Semitic incidents are available, last year saw a decline in varying degrees, the violence has continued at high levels. 

Here in the US, the number of anti-Semitic the ADL documented a total of 1,757 anti-Semitic incidents in 2005, a 3 percent decline from 2004.  But as was the case in other countries, recorded acts of anti-Semitism in 2004 were alarmingly high.  In our own monitoring, 2004 was a nine year high.  A link to this year’s data and a graph showing data over the last 20 years can be viewed at: /presrele/asus_12/audit_2005.htm.

The Tel Aviv University’s Stephen Roth Institute, which publishes an annual survey of anti-Semitism worldwide, reported a drop in overall incidents worldwide of approximately 20 percent.  The UK and Canada saw a slight decline with a more marked decline in incidents in France.  According to the Community Security Trust (CST) in Britain, incidents declined from 532 in 2004 to 455 in 2005, but the CST noted the number was the second highest on record.  The League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada documented 829 anti-Semitic incidents reported to their anti-hate hot line and offices in 2005. A 3.3 percent decline from the record high of 857 documented in 2004.  The French Ministry of Interior date showed a decrease from 974 incidents in 2004 to 504 incidents in 2005.  The Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France, known as CRIF, still emphasize that violence against Jews is still ten times what it was in the 1990s and remain very concerned.

Any decline in incidents is certainly encouraging, but it should be underlined that, compared with pre-2000 levels, they remain worryingly high. Moreover, data alone are only one indicator of the level of anti-Semitism in a society.  Other trends and factors -  particularly in Russia, where racist and anti-Semitic attacks have reached epidemic proportions, with seven racist murders recorded in April this year alone -  paint a more bleak picture across the OSCE region.  Here are just three examples:
In Ukraine, beyond the increase in acts of violence and vandalism against Jews, there have been attempts to ban everything from Jewish organizations to Jewish holy texts.  The Interregional Academy for Personnel Management (MAUP) – accredited by Ukraine's Ministry of Education, with more than 50,000 students enrolled, actively promotes anti-Semitism of the most vicious kind.  Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko has issued an important statement against anti-Semitism, and, more recently, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Education and Science have criticized MAUP but we have yet to see government action to follow up.

In January of this year, the Swedish Chancellor of Justice, Goran Lambertz, halted an investigation into Stockholm’s Grand Mosque, where tapes of despicable anti-Semitic sermons were on sale. He noted that the content of the sermons called Jews the “brothers of apes and pigs” and aspiring jihadis were urged to kill them.  Yet Mr. Lambertz chose not to invoke Sweden’s anti-incitement laws. Instead, he said the calls to murder Jews “should be judged differently, and be considered allowed, because they are used by one side in a continuing profound conflict, where battle cries and invectives are part of everyday occurrences in the rhetoric that surround the Middle East conflict.”  In other words, these anti-Semitic speeches and calls for violence against Jews are simply an outgrowth of the Palestinian Israeli conflict.

In Poland, we are gravely concerned that Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz included in the ruling coalition government the Self-Defense Party and the League of Polish Families.  Leaders of both parties have made statements suggesting sympathy for racist and anti-Semitic views.  The leader of the Self-Defense party, Andrzej Lepper, has made statements supportive of the French neo-fascist leader Jean-Marie Le Pen and has spoken approvingly of the economic policies of the Nazis.  In the recent past, leaders of the League of Polish Families have spoken of "Judeo-communist" plots and made other anti-Semitic statements.  The party maintains close links with Radio Maryja, a conservative Polish Catholic radio station notorious for its anti-Semitic broadcasts.

Programmatic Response
OSCE Ministerial Decisions and Declarations addressing anti-Semitism and intolerance at conferences in Berlin, and Brussels in 2004 and in Cordoba in 2005 have underlined a central message: “the primary responsibility for addressing acts of intolerance and discrimination rests with the Participating States” and highlights their central role in implementing programs in the area of law enforcement and education.  Most recently in Ljubljana, last December, Ministers urged Participating States to implement their commitments with a strong focus on law enforcement training, public and education on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism, including and very importantly, contemporary forms of anti-Semitism.

Putting those important words and commitments into action across such a large region seems a daunting task and surveys and conferences conducted by OSCE have shown that Participating States have done far too little to implement them.  But a strength of the OSCE conferences and programs has been their ability to showcase the impressive resources available to states, and to offer states assistance to expand them one nation at a time, one city at a time, one school at a time.  You heard from the first panel about the array of excellent programs the OSCE’s Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has identified and helped develop for Participating States to put into practice.  There is no shortage of other programs across this region or the experts to adapt and develop them for new countries. 

What is lacking is the political will on the part of many states to take advantage of these initiatives.  The commitments by Participating States are impressive.  States have at their disposal the expertise and assistance of the ODIHR and a world of talented non-governmental experts.  But the burden is on governments to open their doors to these programs and help expand their reach and impact.

Even the valuable programs of ODIHR, many of which rely on extra-budgetary contributions by states, have had the support of just a handful of governments.  The US has been an important supporter and we hope you will ensure that the US continues to play its part.  Members of the Helsinki Commission and all Members of Congress also can play a vital role in getting more states to step up to the plate. 

I will highlight just a few initiatives in the area of education and law enforcement training that we have identified as useful in a number of OSCE Participating States that could readily be expanded and adapted to even more countries.

US Government Training and Education Models
A foundation of the OSCE commitments related to anti-Semitism and tolerance rests on legislation which provides the framework for, data collection and analysis, law enforcement training and victim assistance.  The U.S. government has played a central role in funding program development in this area and promoting awareness of initiatives that work and a number of US models bear mentioning as promising practices that could be adopted by other Participating States.

There is growing awareness of the need to complement tough laws and vigorous enforcement -- which can deter and redress violence motivated by bigotry -- with education and training initiatives designed to reduce prejudice.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) developed and has circulated widely training materials on how to identify, report, and respond to hate crime.  These resources are available online at:  and at:

In 1992, Congress approved several new hate crime and prejudice‑reduction initiatives as part of the four‑year Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act reauthorization. The Act included a requirement that each state’s juvenile delinquency prevention plan include a component designed to combat hate crimes and a requirement that the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) conduct a national assessment of youths who commit hate crimes, their motives, their victims, and the penalties received for the crimes. 

In 1992, for the first time, Congress acted to incorporate anti‑prejudice initiatives into the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the principal Federal funding mechanism for the public schools.  Title IV of the Act, Safe and Drug‑Free Schools and Communities, also included a specific hate crimes prevention initiative -- promoting curriculum development and training and development for teachers and administrators on the cause, effects, and resolutions of hate crimes or hate‑based conflicts.  The enactment of these Federal initiatives represented an important advance in efforts to institutionalize prejudice reduction as a component of violence prevention programming. 
The Department’s Office of Civil Rights, in association with the National Association of Attorneys General, has provided excellent counsel and programming for schools in a publication entitled, “Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crimes: A Guide for Schools.”  That publication is available online here:

Model Resources
Even absent a well-crafted hate crimes law, Participating States could provide training and information or promulgate guidelines on how to report and how to respond to a hate crime.  For example, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has prepared very useful and accessible resources to help improve law enforcement preparation and response to hate violence.  IACP held a Summit on hate crimes in June, 1999.  The Summit report is available online here:

In addition, funded by a grant from the Justice Department, the IACP prepared a guide to hate crimes for first responding police officers in the field.  This guidebook is online here:

Here are additional examples of thoughtful hate crime victim assistance/community action guides: one from the Organization for Chinese Americans, another from Sikh Media Watch, others from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.  (This well-crafted and inclusive annual report is a model for how local jurisdictions can raise awareness about this problem.)

Programs of the Anti-Defamation League
The League has been recognized as a leading resource on effective responses to violent bigotry, including our annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, and the design and delivery of anti-bias, anti-Semitism and Holocaust education programs.  ADL has drafted model hate crime statutes for state legislatures, and serves as a principal resource for the FBI in developing training and outreach materials for the Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA), which requires the Justice Department to collect statistics on hate violence from law enforcement officials across the country. 
ADL’s law enforcement training is Peace Officer Standard Training certified and uses interactive technology with scenarios and case studies -- some of which have already been adapted for use outside the US. 
For example, in Austria: ADL and a team of over 50 of both civilian and law enforcement trainers work with the Austrian Ministry of Interior, to conduct anti-bias training for every professional and new recruit in the country.  These trainings are compulsory and encompass anti-bias and hate crime training.  In the last 5 years, this training has reached over 10 percent of Austria’s law enforcement professionals.  The Austrian Ministry of Education has also implemented our signature anti-bias program A Classroom of Difference™ in select schools across the country

Law Enforcement Resources

  1. LEARN (Law Enforcement Agency Resource Network) Website

In addition to a law enforcement bulletin distributed to over 10,000 law enforcement officers nationwide—ADL has a Website specifically designed for law enforcement to provide training and educational information for law enforcement personnel on extremist groups and individuals, terrorism, hate crimes, and other issues of interest to the law enforcement community. 

  1. Hate Crimes Training

Building on ADL's expertise in monitoring and exposing the activities of organized hate groups and in crafting legal and legislative responses to hate crime, ADL has developed a hate crimes training program for law enforcement professionals.
ADL training seminars offer instruction on the special nature of hate crime, the legal and constitutional framework in which federal and state hate crime statues operate, and how to perform investigative and enforcement duties in a way that reassures the victims and helps alleviate community tensions and fear.

  1. Anti-Bias Training

The unique role of law enforcement officials in any community makes cross-cultural understanding imperative. In addition to the need to ensure officer-to-officer sensitivity, to accurately represent its constituents, law enforcement officials need understanding, respect, and a willingness to communicate with all segments of the population. If members of the community feel that their own concerns are not understood, their confidence in law enforcement personnel to meet these needs may be severely diminished. Unfortunately, this can adversely impact cooperation for reporting crimes and providing information vital to solving crimes.  To assist law enforcement professionals in meeting these challenges, ADL has created a specialized training program. Designed by human relations specialists with extensive training experience, the program helps civilian and law enforcement personnel to examine stereotypes and confront prejudice and learn diversity skills that will directly affect their work.  ADL professionals have delivered anti-bias workshops for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, New York State Police, the Houston Police Department and many other local police departments across the United States.

  1. Training to Address Extremism

Building on ADL's expertise in monitoring and exposing the activities of organized hate groups, ADL has developed an extremism training program for law enforcement professionals. Seminars about extremist ideologies and effective investigation, solving and prosecuting techniques have been conducted by ADL throughout the country.  Imagine the value added when a police officer who sees a tattoo or marking at a crime scene – and is able to connect that to an extremist group, an ideology or a conspiracy theory.  Tools like the ADL hate symbols database and printed pocket guide of these symbols and the ongoing relationship with experts in their communities can boost an officers effectiveness in dealing with anti-Semitism, extremism and hate crime. 

Anti Bias Education in Schools – and New Online Training Institute
Experience has shown that hate is learned. And just as it is learned, so it can be un-learned.  Successful programs are as varied as the target audiences and the countries in which they are offered.  Our own programs, reaching approximately 15 countries today, range from anti-bias initiatives to teach, for example, even a toddler to appreciate physical differences -- to equipping college students to face the collateral damage of hate rallies on their campuses – to training teachers and student leaders to get involved in things like name-calling before they escalate.

Changing social and political dynamics force educators to continually take stock and refine their tools.  Our experience has shown, and ODIHR’s recent study on Education about the Holocaust and Anti-Semitism found this as well – educational programs must be relevant to students and must provide both students and teachers tools to cope with the current events. 

The ADL has had positive experience with a number of its programs that are targeted toward cutting through the stereotypes and myths that operate in today’s classroom and have demonstrated results and transferability to the pedagogical model and context of a number of OSCE Participating States. 

The ADL A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute has trained approximately 420,000 teachers in the U.S., impacting over 37 million students, training them in how to confront their own biases as well as how to use specially designed curricular materials.  The programs have been evaluated by independent researchers and institutions including Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and Teacher’s College of Columbia University.  This program has been adapted in eight OSCE Participating States, as well as to Argentina, Japan, states of the Former Soviet Union and Israel.  The Institute’s Peer Training program is currently in use across the US as well as in Austria, Belgium (in French and in Flemish), France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and The United Kingdom. 

We have just previewed to the public this month an exciting initiative to take the A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® training online in a first of its kind online web-based training program to reach into schools, homes, corporations, law enforcement agencies and elsewhere.  Making Diversity Count, the inaugural training course, an interacting and engaging professional development online training program for secondary school educators will go live in January 2007. 

A New Generation of Holocaust Education Programs

  1. Schools.  Echoes and Reflections is a new multimedia curriculum on the Holocaust -- is the result of a partnership, combining the national outreach network of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the unmatched visual history resources of the Shoah Foundation, and the historical expertise of Yad Vashem.  The pedagogical experience of the three organizations produced the most comprehensive curriculum on the Holocaust available to date.  This unprecedented, rich, primary-source-based program -- with the visual testimonies of the Shoah Foundation, the staggering data of Yad Vashem and the expertise of ADL -- significantly enhances and vastly enriches educational tools for learning about the Holocaust. Echoes and Reflections helps students make connections between the Holocaust and its context to their own personal lives. The use of survivor testimony video draws the students into a more personal relationship between them and the material.

  2. Law Enforcement.  The Holocaust is also a meaningful education tool for law enforcement.  Working with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, ADL’s Law Enforcement and Society: Lessons of the Holocaust program challenges law enforcement professionals to examine their partnership with the communities they serve.  It uses the history of the Holocaust to explore issues of their role as protectors of individual rights, checks and balances, and to examine the personal responsibility of officers 60 years ago and today.  Officers have said this examination of the Holocaust has helped them gain a deeper perspective on the critical role they play in society and a greater understanding of the values and code of ethics of their profession.  This program has touched tens of thousands of federal, state and local law enforcement professionals.  It is also a required part of the training for all new FBI agents.

  3. Interfaith Programming. In the US, ADL's Bearing Witness Program for Catholic School Educators helps teachers examine anti-Semitism and the Holocaust as a starting point for addressing issues of diversity in contemporary society.  Its goal is to successfully implement Holocaust education in religious schools.  In order to do this effectively, teachers work to confront and to acknowledge the history of the Holocaust including the role of the Catholic Church and other religious institutions.  This program is a collaborative effort between ADL, the Archdiocese, and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.  Initially offered only in Washington, DC, the program has now expanded and will be offered in five US cities this summer.

Youth Hate Violence Prevention
The Partners Against Hate initiative draws on the experience, networks, and resources of its three cooperating national organizations -- the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Leadership Conference Education Fund (LCEF), and the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence (Center).  The Partners Web site, serves as a comprehensive clearinghouse of hate crime-related information, including resources developed through the grant, as well as other promising programs from across the country.  In addition, the Web site includes access to the finest database of hate crime laws that form the basis of criminal enforcement in the states, and counteraction tools.

It is worth highlighting that so many of the programs we are discussing today are available at a relatively minimal cost.  We heard today about excellent materials that can already be downloaded in different languages.  They require only support for printing costs to put them in the hands of many more teachers and students.  A number of the ADL programs are provided at minimal cost or no cost wherever possible – what we ask is for a government or ministry to open their doors and facilitate their implementation.   

We look forward to working with Members of the Helsinki Commission and Members of Congress to help governments mobilize the courage to tap the most indispensable resource, the will to let these programs make a difference.    

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