Tom Lantos RULES
The good congressman, the only Holocaust survivor in Congress may I add, sent out an email with the following subject header:
Dear Colleague; Foreign Policy; Civil rights; Raise Anti-Semitism Issues!
With the following request:
RAISE ANTI-SEMITISM ISSUES WHEN YOU TRAVEL DURING THE AUGUST BREAK
Why, you may ask? Let me explain... or rather, let him.
As you undoubtedly know, the scourge of anti-Semitism is on the rise in many countries around the globe, including in the United States. The Congressional Task Force Against Anti-Semitism, which I co-chair with Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, John Lewis, Mark Kirk, and Henry Waxman, was formed to call attention to this dangerous trend and to find ways to stop it.
Last year we introduced the Global Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2004, which directed the State Department to respond to the recent surge in anti-Semitism worldwide through mandated annual reports and a new position at the department dedicated to this issue. I am pleased to report that working with our colleagues, Senator George Voinovich and Representative Chris Smith, we were successful in passing our bill in both the House and the Senate.
As Members of Congress, we have an obligation to speak out against all forms of discrimination, racism, or intolerance. In the coming recess, you may have the opportunity to meet with both domestic and foreign officials, which may provide an opportunity to raise the issue of anti-Semitism. These leaders set the tone for national and international discourse and have an essential role in shaping attitudes, so it is important to use these meetings to speak out forcefully against anti-Semitism where appropriate and warranted.
Please urge parliamentarians to take action and do as our Congress has done - to use their bully pulpit and find opportunities to speak out against anti-Semitism, hold hearings, and pass resolutions and develop national plans to combat it. Nations should promote the adoption of comprehensive hate crime data collection laws and provide training in how to identify, report, and respond to hate crimes for appropriate law enforcement officials. It is impossible to properly assess the scope and nature of the problem without data collection and public reporting on anti-Semitic incidents.
Attached is a sample of some of the reported anti-Semitic incidents that recently have occurred in various countries, as well as a summary of findings from a poll taken by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). It will give you just a small idea of some of the horrendous acts of global anti-Semitism. [ed.'s note: I'm not including it -- ADL Survey in 12 European Countries Finds Anti-Semitic Attitudes Still Strongly Held -- but you can click on the link; also, I'm omitting a paragraph that gave contact numbers for more info in his office and the ADL.]
The battle against anti-Semitism is one we must all wage. We look forward to having you join in this fight.
I was encouraged by reading this. I thought you guys would want to see it too.