President Bush’s choice of Rudy Giuliani to head the United States delegation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s first-ever conference on anti-Semitism was an inspired one. Not only did Giuliani, in typically straightforward, no-nonsense fashion, get to the heart of the problem in his comments, but his celebrity status drew extraordinary media attention to an otherwise ho-hum affair.

Terming Europe’s anti-Semitic past “a burden that has held Europe back for two millennia,” the former New York City mayor urged the adoption of a comprehensive plan including the adoption of hate crimes legislation and a uniform method of gathering statistics on anti-Semitic attacks. He also called for the introduction of educational programs against anti-Semitism, and a mechanism to immediately refute anti-Semitic lies such as the canard that Jews drink the blood of Christians or that Jews were absent from the World Trade Center on 9/11.

When goaded by reporters as to whether the Israel/Arab dispute is driving anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe, Giuliani pointedly said, “Anti-Semitism has a long history that predates the whole issue of Palestine, and I don’t see how a resolution of that is going to end anti-
Semitism.”

Splendid, Rudy.

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