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Helsinki Commission Announces Hearing on Alarming Rise in Antisemitism

Members of the Commission and their staff are respectfully invited to attend the following Commission hearing:

The Alarming Rise in Antisemitism and its Threat to Democracy

 

Tuesday, December 13, 2022
2:00 p.m.
Dirksen Senate Office Building
Room SDG-50

 

Antisemitic speech and attacks are rising at an alarming rate in both the United States and Europe. Popular entertainers and public figures such as rapper and producer “Ye,” formerly Kanye West, are spreading antisemitic tropes to their followers on social media or through public statements. Antisemitic disinformation and conspiracy theories proliferated in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Statements by public figures and online disinformation not only serve to normalize prejudice and discrimination, but they also can incite extremism and violent attacks. Antisemitic incidents in the United States reached an all-time high in 2021. Synagogues have been attacked in Colleyville, TX, Pittsburgh, PA, and San Diego, CA. The spread of antisemitism, Holocaust denial, blaming of minority groups, as well as replacement and conspiracy theories have also spread to the political arena where they threaten to undermine democratic institutions. President Putin has even tried to justify Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine through perversely antisemitic statements claiming the invasion was an effort to “de-Nazify” the country, notwithstanding its Jewish president.

In response, Senator Cardin earlier this month convened an initial roundtable at the U.S. Capitol of high-level officials across the government and the non-profit sector who are actively engaged in countering antisemitism to encourage better communication across governmental agencies and between the government and civil society organizations. The goal is to promote a unified, whole of society approach, including a national strategy to fight antisemitism. In addition, strengthening efforts to fight antisemitism at home also raises the ability of the United States to engage successfully with other countries to counter rising antisemitism abroad.

This hearing will follow up on the recent roundtable and examine how the United States can strengthen efforts to combat antisemitism, both domestically and abroad. 

The following witness is scheduled to testify:

  • Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism
  • Rabbi Andrew Baker, Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office on Combating Anti-Semitism and Director of International Jewish Affairs at the American Jewish Committee (AJC)

For more information, please contact Janice Helwig, Senior Policy Advisor, at Janice.Helwig@mail.house.gov

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