Jewish Journal


November 22, 2010

Sen. Cardin blames anti-Israel sentiment for rise of anti-Semitism


Anti-Semitism has been on the rise in Europe for years. But this time around it’s not being fueled by governments. So says U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md.

That’s certainly true in countries like Germany, but I can’t vouch for Eastern Europe.

Cardin, who is head of the Helsinki Commission, told my former colleague Bridget Johnson, now at The Hill, that it’s really animosity toward Israel that is fueling anti-Semitism:

“The bad news is there’s an escalation of anti-Semitism. The good news is it’s recognized by the governments and the governments are doing something to try to prevent it.”

Cardin said that the members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe have been implementing a strategy over the past several years to confront the problem, including educational programs, Holocaust remembrance, police training and public officials speaking out when anti-Semitism occurs.

“So we have a game plan to fight anti-Semitism,” he said. “In Europe, there is a rise in anti-Semitism but it’s not government-instituted. Some countries are better than others in dealing with it.”

That the two are connected comes as no surprise. As Jews throughout the Diaspora know, it’s inescapable—almost regardless of whether we’re talking about an anti-Zionist Jew or a Jew who defends every single thing the Israeli government does.

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