(Washington) - United States Helsinki Commission leaders have introduced resolutions regarding the sharp escalation of anti-Semitism and related violence throughout the region of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
“I am eager for the House of Representatives to go on the record in support of this measure, making sure both the Congress and the administration are doing everything possible to see an end to the scourge of anti-Semitism,” said Helsinki Commission Co-Chairman Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ). “I am especially pleased that this resolution calls for all OSCE participating States to ensure effective law enforcement and prosecution of individuals perpetrating anti-Semitic violence.”
“It is incumbent upon us to send a clear message that these malicious acts are a serious concern to the United States Senate and American people and that we will not be silent in the face of this disturbing trend,” said Co-Chairman Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO). “The anti-Semitic violence we witnessed in 2002, which stretched the width and breadth of the OSCE region, is a wake-up call that this old evil still lives today.”
Original cosponsors of the Senate and House Resolutions are Commissioners Senator Gordon H. Smith (R-OR), Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-VA), Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD), Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN), Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-NY), Rep. Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL) and Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL). Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) is also an original co-sponsor.
The measures (Senate Concurrent Resolution 7 and House Concurrent Resolution 49) maintain that elected and appointed leaders should meet the challenge of anti-Semitic violence through public condemnation, making clear their societies have no room for attacks against members of the Jewish community or their institutions.
“We should make a concerted effort in our respective countries to end this disturbing trend,” said Smith. “Anti-Semitism has bedeviled generations of Jews throughout the centuries and formed a black spot on human history.”
“Coupled with a resurgence of aggressive nationalism and an increase in neo-Nazi ‘skin head’ activity, I and other Commissioners have diligently urged the leaders of OSCE participating States to confront and combat the evil of anti-Semitism,” Campbell added.
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.