To bring to light that anti-semitism is not history and is still existing in the 21st century, the United States today revealed the growing and alarming trends of anti-semitism.
On her remarks on human rightsa and anti-semitism at Madison East High School in Wisconsin, Special Envoy Hannah Rosenthal said anti-Semitism attacks the very idea that every individual is born free and equal in dignity and rights.
However, Jews, Christians, Muslims and all religious communities are all part of the same family in humanity, Ms. Rosenthal pointed out.
She notes that over the past two years, she has been tracking anti-Semitism around the world, and has witnessed its alarming presence and growth.
“First of all, anti-Semitism is not History, it is News. I run into people who think anti-Semitism ended when Hitler killed himself.” -Ms. Rosenthal
More than six decades after the end of the Second World War, anti-Semitism is still alive and well, and evolving into new, contemporary forms of religious hatred, racism, and political, social and cultural bigotry, she revealed.
She stresses that this stems from the fact that traditional forms of anti-Semitism are passed from one generation to the next, updated to reflect current events.
All are familiar with ongoing hostile acts such as the defacing of property and the desecration of cemeteries with anti-Semitic graffiti, she added.
There are still accusations of blood libel, which are morphing from the centuries-old accusations by the Church that Jews killed Christian children to use their blood for rituals, to accusations that Jews kidnap children to steal their organs, she noted.
“Conspiracy theories continue to flourish, such as supposed Jewish control of the U.S. media and the world banking system, or that Jews were involved in executing the September 11 attacks.” -Ms. Rosenthal
She stresses that “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” continue to be best sellers in many, many countries, and taught to religious students as truth.
“The ‘old fashioned’ anti-Semitism is alive and well.” -Ms. Rosenthal
A second phenomenon is Holocaust denial, she underlined.
It is being espoused by religious leaders, heads of State, such as in Iran, in academic institutions, and is a standard on hateful websites and other media outlets, she explained.
She explains that as the generation of Holocaust survivors and death camp liberators reaches their eighties and nineties, the window is closing on those able to provide eyewitness accounts and thus the world has heightened sense of urgency to promote Holocaust education, create museums and memorials, and carry the memory and lessons of the Holocaust forward.
The third is the disturbing trend of Holocaust glorification, which can be seen in parades honoring soldiers who fought in the Waffen SS, which glorifies Nazism under the guise of fighting the Soviets and obscures their roles in the Holocaust, she cited.
She says following a March 2011 commemoration in Latvia, a notorious neo-Nazi made blatantly anti-Semitic statements, including incitements to violence against Jews, on a television talk show.
She cites that the growth of neo-Nazi groups is of special concern in Europe, and Holocaust glorification is especially virulent in Middle Eastern media wherein some is state-owned and operated, which calls for a new Holocaust to finish the job.
“This is truly bone-chilling.” -Ms. Rosenthal
A fourth concern is Holocaust relativism where some governments, museums, academic research and the like are conflating the Holocaust with other terrible events that entailed great human suffering, like the Dirty War or the Soviet regime, Ms. Rosenthal noted.
“History must be precise, it must instruct, it must warn, and it must inspire us to learn the particular and universal values as we prepare to mend this fractured world.” -Ms. Rosenthal
The fifth trend is the increasing tendency of blurring the lines between opposition to the policies of the State of Israel and anti-Semitism.
She emphaiszes that to be clear, criticism of policies of the State of Israel is not anti-Semitism.
However, there is a record where huge increases in anti-Semitism whenever there are hostilities in the Middle East.
She says that Natan Sharansky identified three ways that he believes crosses the line: It is anti-Semitic when Israel is demonized, held to different standards or delegitimized.
The U.S. is often the only “no” vote in international bodies where countries seem to have an obsession with singling out Israel for disproportionate condemnation, Ms. Rosenthal added.
The sixth trend is the growing nationalistic movements which target ‘the other'” be they immigrants, or religious and ethnic minorities – in the name of protecting the identity and ‘purity’ of their nation, she cited,
She explains that when this fear or hatred of the ‘other’ occurs, it is never good for the Jews, or for that matter, other traditionally discriminated against minorities.
The history of Europe, with Russian pogroms, Nazism, and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans provides sufficient evidence, she noted.
“These trends run counter to the principles outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and we must continue to strive to attain them.” -Ms. Rosenthal
She stresses that there is still much work to be done.
Together, the world must confront and combat the many forms of hatred in our world today, she emphaosized.
She stresses that where there is hatred born of ignorance, we must teach and inspire.
“Where there is hatred born of blindness, we must expose people to a larger world of ideas and reach out, especially to youth, so they can see beyond their immediate circumstances.” -Ms. Rosenthal
Where there is hatred whipped up by irresponsible leaders, the states must call them out and answer as strongly as we can and make their message totally unacceptable to all people of conscience, she added.
“Our human rights agenda for the 21st century is to make human rights a human reality.” -Ms. Rosenthal
In order to fight hatred, the world must begin with respecting the dignity of every individual, regardless of his or her beliefs, she stressed.
In December 2011, US reported ‘old fashioned’ anti-Semitism is alive and well in South America.
In a recent survey undertaken by the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina, over 50% of the respondents acknowledged that there is discrimination against Jews. In Venezuela, government-affiliated media carry anti-Semitic expressions.
In addition, in Chile, Uruguay, and Brazil there are reports of anti-Semitic desecrations and harassment.
United States is committed to a world free of anti-Semitism and all other forms of ethnic or religious intolerance.
Of the nine million Jews who had resided in Europe before the Holocaust, approximately two-thirds perished. In particular, over one million Jewish children were killed in the Holocaust, as were approximately two million Jewish women and three million Jewish men.
Jews and others frequently use the term Shoah, Hebrew for “catastrophe,” to refer to the Holocaust. After the start of World War II, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler created forced-labor and death camps throughout Europe to execute the “final solution of the Jewish question.” The Nazis persecuted other groups they deemed racially ‘inferior,’ including Gypsies, the physically and mentally disabled, gays and lesbians, Soviet prisoners of war, Poles, communists and numerous minority groups. The Nazi regime initially constructed forced-labor camps to imprison Jews, but as early as 1941 built extermination camps designed solely for the quick and efficient mass murder of Jews and others.
U.S. governmental report defines antisemitism as “hatred toward Jews-individually and as a group-that can be attributed to the Jewish religion aor ethnicity.