WJC’s PRESIDENT RONALD S. LAUDER TO CONGRESS:
RADICAL ISLAM FUELING RISING EUROPEAN ANTI-SEMITISM – WHERE IS U.S.?
“U.S. must condemn this evil for what it is — the radical Islamic hatred of Jews”
WASHINGTON, March 24 – In testimony before a key Congressional committee today, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder warned that radical Islam is fueling the flames of a new anti-Semitism engulfing Europe, and blasted the United States for failing to lead a fight to extinguish the threat.
Appearing on behalf of WJC – representing more than 100 Jewish communities worldwide – before the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, Lauder said: “In order to defeat this new flame of radical Islamic terror and survive, the United States must lead. The United States can and must speak loudly and clearly to condemn this evil for what it is – the radical Islamic hatred of Jews.”
Lauder’s remarks came in testimony today before the House subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), on the topic, “After Paris and Copenhagen, Responding to the Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism.” Also testifying on this issue were Roger Cukierman, president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF), and Dan Rosenberg Asmussen, president of the Danish Jewish community.
Lauder said the recent deadly wave of terror attacks against Jewish targets in Copenhagen and Paris were only the latest signs of a rising wave of anti-Semitism sweeping across Europe. This new form of anti-Semitism is being driven by radical Islam, but pushed along by extreme nationalists on the right and anti-Israel intellectual elites in universities, he said.
“European leaders have stepped up and strongly condemned these attacks on Jews and the rise of anti-Semitism,” he said. “The United States must do the same. The United States must lead.”
Further, Lauder criticized the absence of any U.S. representation at the anti-terror march in Paris in the wake of the attacks on the satiric weekly Charlie Hebdo and on a kosher supermarket, which drew world leaders and over 1 million participants.
“Many of the leaders in Europe linked arms in solidarity in the very front row, but there was not one U.S. representative with them in the front row,” he said. “I believe that sent a very negative message around the world.”
Lauder cited a string of statistics behind the rising anti-Semitism. Jews represent less than one percent of the French population, but were targeted by more than 50 percent of all racist attacks last year. Anti-Semitic attacks in France, the U.S. and Austria all doubled from 2013, he added. In fact, an EU report from nine nations showed that 16 months ago – long before the latest wave of terror – Jews in these countries were already concerned about growing anti-Semitism.
Lauder concluded by urging the U.S. to take the lead in countering this trend. “Why isn’t the United States leading the world in this crisis?” he said.