Speaking at a hearing chaired by Rep. Chris Smith (R-Dist. 4), Jewish leader Ronald Lauder said the United States is not doing enough to condemn and battle anti-Semitism in Europe.
“Once again, like the 1930s, European Jews live in fear,” Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, testified. “In my travels to all of these communities, I am asked the same question around Europe and the world: ‘Why isn’t the United States leading the world in this crisis?’
“European leaders have stepped up and strongly condemned these attacks on Jews and the rise of anti-Semitism,” added Lauder. “The United States must do the same. The United States must lead.”
Speakers at the March 24 hearing in Washington included Roger Cukierman, president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France, and Dan Rosenberg Asmussen, president of the Danish Jewish Community.
Smith, who charged that many European government officials deal in “double standards and demonization of Israel,” chaired the panel which held the hearing, the Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations subcommittee.
Such attitudes, said Smith, trigger a “new anti-Semitism” that has “failed miserably to anticipate and prevent the arrival of jihadist anti-Semitism.”
The same day, Smith led seven other representatives in announcing a bipartisan task force to combat the rise of anti-Semitism worldwide.
Lauder pinned the rise of anti-Semitism on a minority of Muslim immigrants who hold Islamist ideology, right-wing neo-Nazis, and “an educated, elitist class” with “a pathological hatred of Israel,” along with social media which spreads their propaganda.
Asmussen said his community was concerned about terrorist attacks in France, Belgium, and at home in Copenhagen, where last month a Muslim gunman killed a Jewish security guard who was guarding a synagogue.
“The real long-term solution needs to be found inside the Muslim community, and we need them to take more responsibility in speaking out against anti-Semitism, and against terror committed in the name of Allah,” Asmussen said.
Prior to his testimony, Lauder and other WJC leaders met with Vice President Joe Biden at a reception.
Biden thanked them for speaking out against anti-Semitism and their “constant, unrelenting oversight,” according to a WJC news release.
“I spent a lot of time in Austria, Munich, and France talking about anti-Semitism in Europe and other places around the world and let me tell you that your work really matters. If you don’t constantly speak out every time it raises its ugly head — if you let it sit for a minute — it’s like a boil that festers,” Biden said.