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Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Chairman
Rep. Christopher H. Smith, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
www.csce.gov
May 17, 2002

RISE OF ANTI-SEMITIC VIOLENCE
FOCUS OF HELSINKI COMMISSION HEARING


(Washington) - The United States Helsinki Commission will conduct a hearing on anti-Semitism, focusing on Western Europe and Russia, given the rise in anti-Semitic violence throughout Europe.

Escalating Anti-Semitic Violence in Europe
Wednesday, May 22, 2002
10:00 AM - 12:00 Noon
628 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Witnesses:
  • Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director, Simon Weisenthal Center-Paris
  • Mark B. Levin, Executive Director, NCSJ: Advocates on behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia
  • Alexandra Arriaga, Director of Government Relations, Amnesty International, USA
  • Kenneth Jacobson, Associate National Director, Anti-Defamation League
  • Rabbi Andrew Baker, Director of International Jewish Affairs, American Jewish Committee

While the anti-Semitism scourge lurks in the United States, the sharp escalation of violence against Jews in the OSCE region deserves attention. The most brutal incidents in recent months have occurred in France, Belgium and Germany. Violence has also been directed toward the Jewish community in the United Kingdom, Greece and Ukraine. OSCE participating States have pledged to unequivocally condemn anti-Semitism and take effective measures to protect individuals from anti-Semitic violence.

Despite that commitment, attacks against Jews continue. Two Yeshiva students from New Jersey were assaulted in Germany. A mob attacked Jewish worshipers in a Ukraine synagogue. A gang attacked Jewish high school soccer players in France. Vandals denigrated several synagogues in Russia. A Marseille synagogue burned to the ground and synagogues elsewhere in the OSCE region have suffered firebomb attacks.

Coupled with a resurgence of aggressive nationalism and an increase in neo-Nazi “skin head” activity, participating States throughout the OSCE region face the urgent challenge of stemming the tide of escalating anti-Semitic violence.

An un-official transcript will be available on the Internet at http://www.csce.gov within 24 hours of the hearing.

The United States Helsinki Commission, an independent federal agency, by law monitors and encourages progress in implementing provisions of the Helsinki Accords. The Commission, created in 1976, is composed of nine Senators, nine Representatives and one official each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.

Media Contact: Ben Anderson
202.225.1901
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Issues

Freedom of Association
Freedom of Speech and Expression
Freedom of Thought, Conscience, and Religion or Belief
Racism/Anti-Semitism


   
 

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Congressman Chris Smith at the OSCE PA Annual Meeting in Oslo, Norway on July 9, 2010.