ANTI-SEMITISM AT THE UNITED NATIONS
(House of Representatives - March 29, 2017)

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[Pages H2522-H2523]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                  ANTI-SEMITISM AT THE UNITED NATIONS

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from 
Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen) for 5 minutes.
  Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, last Congress, I joined several of our 
colleagues in forming the Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-
Semitism.
  As a co-chair, a distinction that I am proud to share alongside my 
pals, Eliot Engel, Chris Smith, Ted Deutch, Kay Granger, Nita Lowey, 
Peter Roskam, and Marc Veasey, it is important to call attention to 
anti-Semitism in all of its forms and to work to root it out whenever 
we can. I am also extremely honored to have been named by Speaker Ryan 
to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council earlier this year.
  As we know, it was the anti-Semitic attitudes across Europe, in the 
1920s

[[Page H2523]]

and 1930s, that gave rise to Hitler and the Nazis who exploited the 
deep-seated hatred of Jews to take power, culminating in the systematic 
and deliberate murder of over 6 million Jews during humanity's darkest 
period, the Holocaust.
  In these capacities, I intend to continue to raise awareness on the 
rising level and this trend of anti-Semitism worldwide and to take 
actions against it, as I have done for many years now.

  The fight against global anti-Semitism must start with strong U.S. 
leadership. We have the means, we have the leverage, but we must be 
resolute in our efforts to stem the tide of anti-Semitism and to 
reverse it.
  Today, Mr. Speaker, we hear about the dangers of anti-Semitism across 
the world and how, in many places, Jews are being targeted in an 
alarmingly increasing trend. But I want to highlight an area that needs 
to be brought into greater focus when we discuss combating global anti-
Semitism. It is something that an old friend of mine, Natan Sharansky, 
so succinctly and astutely described.
  Natan and I have had the opportunities to discuss everything from 
anti-Semitism to oppression in Cuba, my native homeland, and in Russia; 
and his insight is extremely valuable.
  What Natan Sharansky has helped define is the new anti-Semitism and 
what he calls the three Ds: double standards, demonization, and 
delegitimatization. And I think the clearest example today of Natan's 
three Ds can be seen unfortunately at the United Nations with its anti-
Israel, anti-Semitic agenda, most notably at bodies like UNESCO, UNRWA, 
the U.N. Human Rights Council, and other U.N. bodies.
  All of these clearly exhibit the double standards: condemning Israel 
based on faulty or illegitimate claims, while ignoring the very real 
problems of other member states. Israel is repeatedly and singularly 
isolated, targeted, and demonized. And, of course, there is no other 
nation that is subjected to efforts to delegitimize it or its existence 
like Israel.
  So what do we need to do? Well, we have to look around at what 
agencies are doing. The efforts at UNESCO to erase Jewish historical 
and cultural ties to their ancient homeland, Jerusalem, have been 
appalling.
  The move by the Human Rights Council to establish a blacklist to 
target individuals and entities that do business with Israel, 
legitimatizing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, BDS, 
and the efforts to take Israel to the International Criminal Court or 
to force Israel to agree to a one-sided peace plan, these all reach the 
height of delegitimatization.
  All of this is taking place at the United Nations, the body that was 
forged in the aftermath of the Holocaust and World War II. We need to 
fight the scourge of anti-Semitism on all fronts, Mr. Speaker, and not 
just at the U.N.
  But if we fail to reverse the systematic and endemic anti-Semitism at 
the U.N., we are going to have a hard time achieving much success in 
any of our other endeavors.
  That is why I will introduce a bill soon that addresses these 
problems at the U.N., and I urge my colleagues to join me in an effort 
to defeat the intolerance wherever and whenever it appears.
  Anti-Semitism is one of the world's oldest forms of hatred and, for 
too long, has gone unaddressed. We have a responsibility to the Jewish 
communities worldwide, and we have a responsibility to ourselves to 
root out this hatred in all of its forms, once and for all.

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