Ambassador Power Cautions that Antisemitism is Threat to Europe’s Future
Berlin – Human Rights First welcomes the strong statement in Berlin today by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power. Power called antisemitism a rising global problem that threatens the human rights of Jews, as well as all individuals targeted with hatred and violence on account of their religion or ethnicity. Power’s keynote speech came as European leaders gathered to discuss the rising tide of antisemitism across the continent at a meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
“Ambassador Power made clear that antisemitism is a threat to the future of Europe,” said Human Rights First’s Tad Stahnke, who is in Berlin for the gathering. “She rightfully highlighted the threat posed by the rise of extreme far-right political parties to the protection of human rights and the values of liberal democracy. The United States needs to be fully engaged to reverse these trends, as the strength of the trans-Atlantic alliance is more important than ever to confront a range of global crises.”
In today’s remarks, Power expressed concerns about the success in European elections of the neo-Nazi Greek Golden Dawn party, as well as the growth of the antisemitic extreme nationalist Jobbik party and Hungary’s rollback of democracy, government suppression of independent media, and attacks on civil society. The rise of these far-right, neo-Nazi extremist parties in Hungary and Greece was recently examined in Human Rights First’s report “We’re not Nazis, but…The Rise of Hate Parties in Hungary and Greece and Why America Should Care.”
Government representatives and civil society leaders are meeting in Berlin to review the OSCE’s commitments on combatting antisemitism. Human Rights First is participating in today’s conference along with a broad range of U.S. civil society representatives who have laid out a 10-point action plan. The recommendations call on OSCE member states to:
- Condemn unequivocally all manifestations of antisemitism;
- Investigate and prosecute antisemitic and all violent hate crimes;
- Work in partnership with civil society, including convening regular consultations with Jewish community organizations and non-Jewish civil and human rights organizations; and,
- Implement effective education against antisemitism and all forms of bigotry.
“High level political condemnation of antisemitism is extremely important, but it must be coupled with action,” Stahnke concluded. “Human rights First calls on OSCE participating states to follow up today’s event with a Ministerial level declaration that not only makes clear that there will be zero tolerance for antisemitism in Europe but also sets out an action plan for states to live up to their commitments.”