(March 28, 2019 / JNS) The U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor issued a $2 million tender for two projects to combat anti-Semitism in Europe and Central Asia.
According to the announcement, the projects will be run in member countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, in cooperation with the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, to combat “acts of physical violence, desecration of religious sites, religion-based discrimination, and the use of hateful or inflammatory speech in public discourse, traditional media and online.”
The State Department bureau “will support one or more projects to counter anti-Semitism by increasing documentation and reporting on hate crimes, promoting greater societal inclusion and increasing public awareness of ways to combat hateful and discriminatory expression targeting Jews. Efforts to increase reporting should also include training law enforcement to adequately and holistically respond to hate crimes from a legal, social and community perspective; and to better equip police and prosecutors to engage effectively with local Jewish populations,” according to the announcement.
On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo railed against anti-Semitism in front of a cheering crowd at the annual AIPAC convention in Washington, D.C.
“This bigotry is taking on an insidious new form in the guise of anti-Zionism. It’s invested on college campuses in the form of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. It’s discussed in our media. It’s supported by certain members of Congress, I suspect none of whom are here tonight,” he said.
“Don’t get me wrong,” he continued, “criticizing Israel’s policies is an acceptable thing to do in a democracy. But criticizing the very right to exist of Israel is not acceptable. Anti-Zionism denies the very legitimacy of the Israeli state and of the Jewish people.”