Jewish Leaders Warn Congress of Rise in Anti-semitism Throughout Europe

In post-Cold War Europe, with the upheavals caused by the fall of the Soviet Union and the opening of national borders, anti-Semitism and xenophobia have become a resurgent phenomenon, Jewish leaders told members of Congress this week.

At a hearing Tuesday before the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on international security, Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said that “fear of the foreigner” was the “most widely observed phenomenon in a Europe of mass migrations and newly opened borders.”

He argued that world leaders should not only issue verbal condemnations of racist and anti-Semitic actions, but should also undertake concrete measures to prevent such incidents.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, warned that Germany, in particular, was facing an era of turmoil.

“Not since the days of the Third Reich has Germany been witness to the wave of violence currently eating away at her social fabric,” Hier told the subcommittee.

He said the Wiesenthal Center would urge German officials to institute various programs, including a joint federal-state task force to combat the extreme right, and mandatory Holocaust education programs.

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