Update: ADL subsequently welcomed the statements and actions of the Ukrainian government to condemn anti-Semitism. More
New York, NY, December 6, 2005 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has urged the U.S. House of Representatives to delay approval of Ukraine's graduation from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment of 1974, thus continuing to deny it Permanent Normal Trade Relations, while anti-Semitism persists at worrying levels.
The Jackson-Vanik Amendment was passed in 1974 to pressure the former Soviet Union, which had imposed a "diploma tax" for Jews who sought to emigrate, to end the "diploma tax" and eliminate barriers to free emigration. The Amendment links U.S. trade benefits, now known as Normal Trade Relations (NTR), to the emigration and human rights policies of Communist or formerly Communist countries.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
We expect more from democratic states than we do from totalitarian ones. This year alone has seen a steep increase in acts of violence and vandalism against Jews across Ukraine. There have been attempts to ban everything from Jewish organizations to Jewish holy texts. The university MAUP, with more than 50,000 students enrolled, actively promotes anti-Semitism of the most vicious kind.
While we recognize that Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko has issued a statement against anti-Semitism, we believe the government must go beyond words and take the kind of strong action we expect from a democracy. Until then there is no reason for the House of Representatives to agree to remove Ukraine from Jackson-Vanik and grant beneficial trading status.
We should remember that it was the struggle against anti-Semitism which inspired Jackson-Vanik in the first place. That struggle is not over.