Confronting Anti Semitism and Religious Intolerance
Posted by: Joanne Tromiczak-Neid, Justice Coordinator
Ginger K. Hedstrom, Justice Associate
Hannah Rosenthal, Special Envoy to Combat and Monitor Anti- Semitism, U. S. Department of State was the featured speaker at the Town Hall Meeting hosted by Congressman Keith Ellison (MN), Wednesday, May 18. Special Envoy Rosenthal described her work as 1) diplomacy (nations, United Nations, Euorpean Union, etc.) 2) public diplomacy (engaging civil society) 3) programming (funding projects).
Nationalism/ultra-nationalism are strong trends that are excalating in South America and Western Europe – both, she stated, can be described as “running on hate.” The desecration of Jewish cemeteries and assertions that “Israel should not exist” are but two examples of this troubling trend.
A 2010 visit to Auschwitz and Dachau led by Special Envoy Rosenthal included eight Imams showing solidarity with the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. At the conclusion of the trip, she said that “as representatives of government, and communities we joined these clerics to bear witness to the horror and tragedy of the Holocaust and vow ‘never again.'” She went on to state that denial of the Holocaust is “a lie that won’t die.”
She has worked with Elie Weisel, Nobel Peace Prize Winner (1986), who continues to ask through his writing, teaching and personal appearances, what did we learn from the Holocaust? He also expressed grave concern for our future noting that indifferent people do not confront evil. Congressman Ellision said, “as people of conscience we must stand up and speak up!”
Imam Magid, President of the Islamic Society of North America, was also scheduled to speak regarding his experiences of visiting Auschwitz and Dachau. Congressman Ellison announced that he had been called back to Washington, D. C. to be present when the President will deliver remarks at the State Department on how the U. S. can support positive change in the Middle East and North Africa.
In an effort to engage people under the age of 30, a cross cultural learning experience
2011 Hours Against Hate
has been developed by Special Envoy Rosenthal and Special Representative Pandith to provide an opportunity for people to walk in the shoes of another person or group that is very different from them. Together, Special Envoy Rosenthal and Special Representative Pandith officially launched 2011 Hours Against Hate
at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna, Austria on February 17, 2011. This work can also be followed on FACEBOOK
Stand Up. Speak Out.
Hate is Hate, No Matter Who the Target Is. (2011 Hours Against Hate)