I am pleased that the U.S. Helsinki Commission recently held a hearing on anti-Semitism in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) region. As a new member of the Commission and someone who is very concerned about anti-Semitism, I know first-hand how important it is to adequately address anti-Semitism in the OSCE region. I also know the importance of assessing the results of the April 2003 Berlin Conference on Anti-Semitism. By highlighting these issues during hearings and other events, we can truly consider ways to effectively combat anti-Semitism and related violence.
Recently, I cosponsored a resolution, H.Con.Res. 425, which expresses Congress’ support of the OSCE in combating anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia, discrimination, intolerance, and related violence. This resolution is aimed at maintaining momentum following the Berlin Conference to ensure that real action by OSCE participating States results from their stated commitments. It also urges the 55 OSCE countries to condemn anti-Semitic acts and create legal mechanisms for tracking anti-Semitic crimes. In addition, the resolution calls for the creation of a special OSCE envoy to ensure continuous attention to the issue.
Anti-Semitism is a hateful crime – one that knows no boundaries. In order for us to prevent it from spreading to other areas of the world, it is imperative that we address it now. Therefore, I look forward to working with my colleagues on the U.S. Helsinki Commission on these and other issues during the Edinburgh OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. I am confident that this conference will allow us to continue to build on the work that we have already begun.