Terrorism And Anti-Semitism Are Inseparably Married
Editor’s Note: The following remarks were delivered last week on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
Mr. President, I thank my colleague from Pennsylvania for addressing the topic of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism expanding in the world. I have comments to add to this issue as
This is a disheartening development that is taking place. We are seeing it. It is being documented. I say to my colleagues, if they are interested, I have ”The Rise of Anti-Israelism & Anti-Semitism” by Dr. Gary Tobin, Dr. Alexander Karp, and others. It is a good two, two and-a-half inches thick, documenting what is taking place in the world today. It is full of pictures and leaflets that are being distributed. Some of them are ghastly to look at. I do not want to show them on the Senate floor because they are so dark and evil and diabolical. But I think it is something for people to be able to see the documentation.
When I first heard about this developing, I said this can’t really take place now. We are sixty years out from Auschwitz. That is close enough. People are still alive who experienced this. Surely this does not happen in the world today. Yet it does. We need to identify it as evil and dark and wrong and castigate it and tell people this is wrong and stand up against it. And it is, unfortunately, well documented about what is taking place.
I particularly thank my colleague Senator Voinovich for his tireless work in promoting the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004 and pushing to identify and get at the roots of the issue.
In his book titled Never Again? The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, likens anti-Semitism to a disease. He says:
“Like many diseases, it spreads from person to person. It can be inherited — not genetically, of course, but through the malign impact of a bigoted adult on his or her children and grandchildren. It can lie dormant within an individual, sowing symptoms only in times of stress. And at times when a community is vulnerable, it can spread rapidly, causing an outbreak that is equivalent to an epidemic.”
We cannot tolerate further spread of this epidemic. Many of us here associate anti-Semitism with the hatred of Jews that hit Europe in the 1930’s and escalated to the genocidal measures of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis. However, as President Bush stated in a recent speech:
“…. Anti-Semitism is not a problem of the past; the hatred of Jews did not die in a Berlin bunker …. The demonization of Israel, the most extreme anti-Zionist rhetoric can be a flimsy cover for anti-Semitism, and contribute to an atmosphere of fear in which synagogues are desecrated, people are slandered, [and] folks are threatened ….”
This hatred of Israel and her people continues, endorsed and propagated by many states and their leaders.
In a time when we are concerned about terrorism and security, some might question the need to focus on a problem like anti-Semitism. The issues of terrorism and anti-Semitism are inseparably married, wedded by their intolerable hatred of Israel and Jews. They are joined together by their disgust for defenders of peace and democracy. The eerie and lasting relationship of state-sponsored terrorism and state-sponsored anti-Semitism is destroying hope of peace for future generations.
In the book I just referenced, the authors state:
” Terrorism has clearly been chosen and relied upon as a primary tactic by the world’s most vehement anti-Israelists and anti-Semites: despotic Arab dictatorships. Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Palestine are all led by those who have chosen to use fear and terror to weaken Israeli resolve.”
In the State Department’s Pattern of Global Terrorism report released in 2001, it certifies that:
“Iran’s involvement in terrorist-related activities remained focused on support for groups opposed to Israel and peace between Israel and its neighbors…. Supreme Leader Khamenei continued to refer to Israel as a ‘cancerous tumor’ that must be removed….”
The most recent report states that:
“During 2003, Iran maintained a high-profile role in encouraging anti-Israeli activity, both rhetorically and operationally…. Iran provided Lebanese Hizbullah and Palestinian rejectionist groups ? notably Hamas, the Palestine Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command – with funding, safe-haven, training, and weapons.”
That is from our own State Department.
We are living in a critical period of history. The war for civilization — and our very way of life — is being fought not only in Baghdad and Kabul, but it is being fought in Jerusalem a well, and has been for a long time. This battle pits democracy against totalitarianism. It pits
freedom against subjugation. It pits a culture that values life against a culture willing to throw it away with neither remorse nor regret.
While the global war on terror is our common cause now, peace and reconciliation are our actual objectives. Through time immemorial, the people of Israel have simply sought and taught of peace; of a time when swords would be beaten into plowshares; and children would be taught of war no more. When the lion would lay down with the lamb and there would be no more tears. Yet today we are beset with hostilities. Nations are embracing terrorism. Hatreds exist without reason.
Peace and truth go together. We must speak of peace with all who embrace peace and speak the truth about those who do not. Evil must be identified for what it is and once exposed to the sunlight of the truth, will waken, whither and fall.
Terrorism and anti-Semitism are evil and must be rejected by all civilized people and every nation. Terrorism is practiced on the innocent and anti-Semitism on the vulnerable, and they are tools of dark souls. Those who employ these means must be confronted and renounced by all humanity.
Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996.