11-9-2011By Marc Jayson Climaco
Program and Communications
Today, Human Rights First President and CEO Elisa Massimino marked International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism and the 73rd anniversary of Kristallnacht during a State Department Conversation with America event. Today’s discussion addressed recent trends in antisemitism around the world and featured both Massimino and Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Hannah Rosenthal.
Antisemitic violence worldwide remains at high levels, following a significant increase beginning in 2000. Although the number of incidents in the last decade has fluctuated from year-to-year and from country-to-country, findings show that, with alarming frequency, synagogues, Jewish homes, and Jewish-owned businesses have been targeted in arson attacks and subjected to widespread vandalism, and ordinary people have been harassed, beaten, stabbed, or shot because they were Jewish.
The translation of sentiment against Israel or the policies of its government into anti-Jewish antipathy has since 2000 generated new patterns of antisemitic violence that have fluctuated in relation to events in the Middle East. In this “new” form of antisemitism, Jews around the world have increasingly been targeted for violence and vilification as if collectively responsible for wrongs attributed to the state of Israel.
In a testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in 2010, Massimino detailed the rise violence and harassment directed at Jews worldwide, and outlined several steps the United States government should take to curb increasing international anti-Semitism. During tomorrow’s conversation, she will discuss key developments since that testimony.
Read more about work to combate racism and xenophobia.