Office of the Spokesman
October 15, 2004
Department of State Actions To Combat Anti-Semitism
Released on October 15, 2004
The Department of State is committed to combating anti-Semitism throughout the world and is proud of its many accomplishments. In addition to the annual International Religious Freedom and Human Rights Reports, which detail patterns and incidents of anti-Semitism world-wide, we have undertaken a number of specific and important actions to fight this scourge:
- The State Department's instructions to embassies for the 2004 Country Human Rights Report explicitly required them to describe acts of violence against Jewish people and Jewish community institutions.
- The State Department took the lead in convincing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to sponsor two conferences on combating anti-Semitism (Vienna in June 2003, Berlin in April 2004.) Secretary Powell led the U.S. delegation to the Berlin Conference and addressed its participants. As a result of those conferences, the OSCE is implementing a process to monitor and report on anti-Semitic incidents.
- The United States urged the OSCE Chairman-in-Office to appoint a personal representative on combating anti-Semitism. Such a representative would engage with member states on specific and broader anti-Semitism issues.
- The United States is strongly supporting a conference to be hosted by Spain to review the implementation of the mandates issued by the Berlin and Vienna conferences.
- In 2003-2004, the United States chaired the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research, a group now comprised of 18 countries that promotes understanding of the Holocaust as a means to prevent a recurrence of the hatred that resulted in that tragedy. The Task Force has encouraged, organized and supported the training of social studies teachers on teaching the Holocaust.
- The State Department has been successful in including anti-Semitism language in several resolutions of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. We will continue to press for inclusion of such language at the Commission on Human Rights and elsewhere.