The Orthodox Union is encouraged that the United Nations has at long last convened a conference to confront anti-Semitism, but according to Betty Ehrenberg, Director of International and Communal Affairs of the OU, who is representing the OU at today’s event, “This conference is just a beginning. Words are not enough. There is a long way to go, particularly given the atmosphere of anti-Semitism that has pervaded the UN for decades, and if anything has intensified in recent years.”
Ms. Ehrenberg pointed out that last year a resolution introduced in the General Assembly to condemn anti-Semitism was defeated.
”We applaud this first step by the UN in addressing the upsurge in anti-Semitism, but this cannot be the final stop in confronting this menace. Anti-Semitism is the oldest and most far-reaching bigotry in the world, targeting Israel and Jews around the globe,” she declared. Ms Ehrenberg, who was a member of the official United States delegation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Conference on anti-Semitism, which was held in Berlin in April, urged the UN “to follow the example set by the OSCE and in the manner of the Berlin Conference track anti-Semitic incidents around the world and appoint a special official empowered to report on and help direct world action against all manifestations of anti-Semitism.”
Ms. Ehrenberg applauded the address of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who condemned the since-rescinded UN resolution that “Zionism is Racism” and who declared that in addressing the world’s intolerance, anti-Semitism is a good place to start.
“The Secretary-General made it clear that the UN must confront the evils of anti-Semitism – a message that the membership of the UN must heed,” Ms. Ehrenberg said. “The OU will be carefully monitoring the results of today’s meeting and will not be silent if the UN ignores the Secretary-General’s message. Action must follow his words.”