Opinion: OSCE Declaration Fails to Address Practical Ways to Root-Out Anti-Semitism

April 30, 2004

Source: Los Angeles Times

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On April 30, 2004 the Los Angeles Times ran an opinion piece by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, of Harvard University's Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, and the author of "Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust," on the recent statement on anti-Semitism issued by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Goldhagen writes, "The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe just concluded a conference in Berlin on anti-Semitism, attended by 55 countries. Although the meeting was convened with much fanfare to deal with the disturbing rise of anti-Semitism in democratic Europe, the conference ultimately ended with little more than a toothless declaration that failed to create the new institutions necessary to effectively combat the problem...the conference participants should have agreed to the following concrete measures: Governments must raise the alarm that this poisonous hatred of the ages is back and that they will protect Jews of their countries at all costs...Governments must establish and fund agencies in every European country to promote educational initiatives � television programs, lectures, publications and school curricula � to convey that anti-Semitism is a dangerous prejudice and to create a national climate that condemns its expression. They must make clear the link between the anti-Semitism of today and the persecution of Jews historically. Nongovernmental organizations, such as the Christian churches, should implement similar measures. A permanent conference on anti-Semitism that meets on a regular basis should be established, with all governments required to report on the progress they have made in carrying out these measures."