Mr. Chairman, thank you for this opportunity to appear before the Commission. I also wish to recognize Representative Cardin as the Ranking Member, and your fellow Commissioners from the Senate and House. Although this is my first time testifying personally, NCSJ’s relationship with the Commission goes back to before the Commission’s founding. Mark Levin, NCSJ’s Executive Director, wanted to be here today, but is at this moment participating in a celebration in New York marking 40 years of activity on behalf of Soviet Jewry. Just as the Soviet Jewry movement – yourselves included – changed the nature of U.S. foreign policy and European diplomacy, and motivated the establishment of the OSCE, it also profoundly affected the American Jewish community. Our latest challenge has been to marshal European leaders and institutions to defeat the monster of anti-Semitism on the European continent – the first serious effort in history, 60 years after World War II.
The Commission’s leadership has been instrumental in pulling together the multi-disciplinal U.S. team. I could easily spend my allotted time describing the important role that the Commission and each of you, and your staff members have played, but fortunately NCSJ has had many opportunities to do just that. However, I will note that the Commission effectively launched the OSCE track on anti-Semitism through a similar hearing over two years ago, just before the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly met in Berlin. It was the leadership of the Commissioners that mobilized your colleagues from European parliaments to adopt the OSCE’s first stand-alone document on anti-Semitism, which was used as a model for the 2003 Maastricht Ministerial Declaration and – ultimately – for the April 2004 Berlin Declaration. At every step, and in every consultation and strategy meeting, your role has been pivotal.