BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Co-Chair of the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission), a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, and Special Representative on Antisemitism, Racism and Intolerance for the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, praised the Biden-Harris administration for its first-ever U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism released Thursday. Senator Cardin convened a meeting in the U.S. Capitol in November with fellow lawmakers, high-level officials from across the government and the nonprofit sector who are actively engaged in countering antisemitism. The need for a national strategy was clear to all participants. In December, Senator Cardin chaired a hearing of the U.S. Helsinki Commission on the “Alarming Rise in Antisemitism and its Threat to Democracy.”
“The alarms have been ringing loud and clear for years about the disturbing rise in antisemitism and related hate-based incidents across America. The Biden-Harris administration’s whole-of-society national strategy sets forth an aggressive agenda for dealing with both the symptoms and root causes of such hate. At its core are education and solidarity. Hate often is grounded in ignorance and, as noted in the strategy, “[i]ncreasing awareness and understanding of antisemitism must be coupled with a commitment to broadening appreciation of Jewish American heritage.’ It is essential that we expand programs and initiatives that accurately discuss the Holocaust and the harmful ideologies that gave it life. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has become a worldwide leader in educating the nation and others about the horrors of the Holocaust and I am pleased to see they are taking on a central role in this urgent task.
“We all must work toward a common goal of ensuring that no one in this nation is harassed, harmed or hated because of their faith. The dangerous conspiracy theories and disinformation targeted at Jewish Americans breed mistrust in our communities, as well as our economy and government institutions. While recognizing the unique nature of antisemitism, I credit the Biden-Harris administration for understanding that ‘Antisemitism does not exist in a vacuum.’ We must embrace robust partnerships among communities that have been victimized by such hate and renew our resolve to stand united as truth tellers and educators. Thank you, Mr. President for setting the goalposts high. There is no time to lose. We all must be involved. We all must act.”