FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2020
USCIRF Honors International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Cautions Against Rising Anti-Semitism
WASHINGTON, DC – On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27th, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) honors the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and the millions of other victims of Nazism, and calls on the international community to make greater strides in combatting rising anti-Semitism. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the notorious Nazi death camp.
“This anniversary serves as a reminder of how unchecked anti-Semitism has led to atrocities,” said USCIRF Chair Tony Perkins. “Jewish people around the world still experience discrimination, name calling, vandalism of synagogues and cemeteries, hate speech on the Internet, and violent attacks. The Holocaust did not happen overnight; we must heed these early warning signs of increasing intolerance. All who value religious freedom must stand firmly against anti-Semitism and other forms of religious hatred to prevent the horrors of the Holocaust from being repeated.”
USCIRF’s recent activities to highlight this troubling trend include a seminar on Capitol Hill in July and a hearing earlier this month that featured the testimonies of several prominent scholars and activists, including Dr. Deborah Lipstadt, whose book about her legal battle against a leading Holocaust denier was made into the 2016 movie, “Denial.” (Hearing summary here.)
“We can no more deny the rise in anti-Semitism around the world than we can deny the facts of the Holocaust,” said USCIRF Vice Chair Gayle Manchin. “But with the benefit of both hindsight and foresight, we can identify anti-Semitism, we can trace its insidious sources, and we can craft strong foreign policy responses so that ‘never again’ holds true.”
In order to more vigorously confront the scourge of anti-Semitism, USCIRF recommends that the U.S. government should:
- Ensure that combatting anti-Semitism is a key priority of the International Religious Freedom Alliance once it is launched;
- Encourage foreign governments to create positions similar to the U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism;
- Urge the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General to create a position in his office to engage with Jewish communities worldwide and to monitor and report on anti-Semitism globally; and
- Provide technical support to foreign law enforcement officials to update and standardize hate crime reporting procedures to ensure the accurate collection and dissemination of data on anti-Semitic and other hate crimes.
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The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is an independent, bipartisan federal government entity established by the U.S. Congress to monitor, analyze, and report on threats to religious freedom abroad. USCIRF makes foreign policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress intended to deter religious persecution and promote freedom of religion and belief. To interview a Commissioner, please contact USCIRF at Media@USCIRF.gov or Kellie Boyle at email@example.com or +1-703-898-6554.