Washington – Helsinki Commission Chairman, Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), raised ongoing concerns over anti-Semitism, in a statement delivered on behalf of the United States at the key human rights meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) being held in Warsaw, Poland. Smith is serving as Vice Chairman of the U.S. Delegation to the 55-nation conference. In addition to addressing recent anti-Semitic acts, Smith made a series of recommendations on how OSCE states can fight this reoccurring phenomenon, specifically endorsing a German offer to host a follow-up OSCE conference on anti-Semitism, in late spring.
Commission Ranking Member, Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), in a statement delivered during a session devoted to Prevention of Discrimination, Racism and Xenophobia, called upon OSCE states and elected leaders to speak out against racism and ensure that laws are adequate to prosecute the perpetrators of these hateful acts. Cardin proposed a series of concrete measures to eliminate hate crimes such as comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation, active law enforcement engagement, public denunciations, and using education as a means to counter intolerant stereotypes and attitudes among young people.