Wiesenthal Center to OSCE: Europe's Jews Threatened; Serious and Substantive Action Demanded.

October 2, 2014

In a statement delivered at the 57 member nation OSCE's (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) annual meeting devoted to human rights in Warsaw, Mark Weitzman, the Wiesenthal Center's Director of Government Affairs and a member of the organization's Advisory Panel on Freedom of Religion and Belief said that “Europe's Jewish communities are facing a number of real and existential threats. These include violence by mobs in Western European countries and murders in France and Belgium, the rise of antisemitism as an acceptable form of social discourse and the growing legitimization of political antisemitism as expressed by parties such as Jobbik in Hungary and Golden Dawn in Greece and by high level political leaders in Turkey.”

Weitzman also stated that, “distorting the Holocaust for political or propaganda purposes such as whitewashing the history of local collaborators with the Nazis or equating Israel and Jews with the Nazis and finally attempts to ban core elements of Jewish religious practices such as ritual circumcision and kosher slaughtering."

Photo: Mr. Weitzman, (L) with US Ambassador to the OSCE, Dan Baer, in Warsaw

Weitzman, who is a member of the NGO Steering Committee for the upcoming November high-level OSCE meeting on Antisemitism, urged member states to “actively participate... and vigorously follow up” on the steps to be taken at that meeting, and he concluded by saying that in light of the upcoming 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the Holocaust, the OSCE must take “serious and substantive” action to “address the current threats to the security and safety of the Jewish community in Europe.”

While in Warsaw Weitzman also met with Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich, leaders of the Jewish community and gave a lecture to community members at the famed Nozyck Synagogue.

Mark Weitzman can be reached through the Wiesenthal Center’s New York office, 212-697-1180, or by e-mail at mweitzman@wiesenthal.com. J
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).