99 Senators Urge President Bush to Take Their Deep Concerns About Anti-Semitism in Europe and Arab Media to Highest Level of Those Governments

Friday, April 26, 2002

WASHINGTON – Senators Carl Levin, D-Mich., and John Warner, R-VA, today released a letter to President Bush personally signed by 99 Senators raising deep concerns "about the resurgence of anti-Semitism both in Europe and in the Arab media" and urging the President and his Administration "to make every effort possible to raise, at the highest level, our concerns about anti-Semitic acts in Europe and anti-Semitic portrayals in the Arab media."

"As a democratic nation based on the freedom of religion for all people, it is imperative that the United States condemn anti-Semitic actions and rhetoric wherever they may be found," the letter states. The letter listed several examples of anti-Semitic activity and rhetoric including the following:

In Europe, there have been several alarming events aimed at Jewish people and communities in the past several weeks. In France, Jewish schools, shops and synagogues have been shot at, set afire and bombed. In Germany, violence has been directed toward Jewish sites and individuals wearing Jewish attire. In Belgium, molotov cocktails were thrown at a synagogue.

In the Arab media, hateful, anti-Semitic rhetoric abounds. In Saudi Arabia, the government daily newspaper claims that the Jewish use of non-Jewish blood in Purim pastries is a "well-established fact." In Egypt, articles in the government daily newspaper have praised Hitler. The Palestinian Authority daily paper and Palestinian television programs have urged their readers and viewers to "have no mercy on the Jews . . . Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them."

"Anti-Semitic actions and caricatures only fan the flames of hatred making a political resolution of the differences and a future peaceful relationship between Israelis and Palestinians that much more difficult," the letter reads.

Levin is the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Warner is the Ranking Republican.

A copy of the letter is available here (pdf).

# # #