Specia Envoy Combating to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Hannah Rosenthal today said the United States is committed to combat hate and intolerance in the world.
In her testimony before the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), Ms. Rosenthal said the U.S. Helsinki Commission has dedicated itself to addressing human rights issues, including anti-Semitism.
“The Obama Administration is unwavering in its commitment to combat hate and promote tolerance in our world. The President began his Administration speaking out against intolerance as a global ill.” -Ms. Rosenthal
She noted that in Obama’s historic speech in Cairo, he signaled a new path that embraces a vision of a world based on mutual interests and mutual respect; a world that honors the dignity of all human beings.
“He then went to Buchenwald concentration camp to remind the world of the horrors of the Holocaust and the ultimate lesson that the Holocaust represents the possible.” -Ms. Rosenthal
She reiterated that President Obama and Secretary Clinton have honored her with this appointment, and have elevated her office and fully integrated it into the State Department.
“We are attempting – through traditional diplomacy, public diplomacy and grassroots programs all over the world – to confront and combat hatred in all its ugly forms, whether it is directed against people on account of their religion, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation or differences of political opinion or due to their country of origin.” -Ms. Rosenthal
She stressed anti-Semitism is one such form of hatred rooted in historical forces that go far beyond any current policy debate.
“If we want to change this trend, we need to stand together in our efforts to promote tolerance, acceptance and compassion.” -Ms. Rosenthal
She narrated that as a child of a Holocaust survivor, anti-Semitism is something very personal to me. She said her father was arrested on Kristallnacht, the unofficial pogrom that many think started the Holocaust and sent with many of his congregants to prison and then to Buchenwald.
“He was the lucky one for every other person in his family perished at Auschwitz. I have dedicated my life to eradicating anti-Semitism and intolerance with a sense of urgency and passion that only my father could give me.” -Ms. Clinton
She noted that since the murder of six million Jews in Europe, the world has made some great strides as the countries of Europe have come together to denounce new and old forms of anti-Semitism and forcefully state in unison, “Never Again.”
She stressed her approach to combating anti-Semitism is not just to preach to the choir, so to speak, but to join in partnership with non-Jews in condemning it together with government, civil society, international institutions, business leaders, labor unions, and media.
“Together, we must confront and combat the many forms of hatred in our world today. 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