Time to put Obama's promises on Anti-Semitism in action

Claudia Rosett asks an important question: Will Barack Obama-who has put a dent in racism-work on the problem of anti-Semitism, one of the few growth areas in the world?

Rosett draws particular attention to Europe, the Middle East, and the United Nations. The role of the United Nations-funded very generously by the United States-in the growth of anti-Semitism has also been noted by Anne Bayefsky. The problem goes beyond the UN imprimatur given to such events as Durban World Conference Against Racism to efforts that promote anti-Semitism.

Rosett writes:

 There are many spokes in the anti-Semitic web now being re-woven around the globe, from Saudi Arabia to the Palestinian schools and media that feature maps without Israel, and role models such as a martyred version of Mickey Mouse.

But as Obama takes office, two hubs stand out. One is Iran, supporter of terrorists, source of genocidal proclamations against Israel and seeker of nuclear bombs.

Whatever the doubts about that bomb program raised by the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate of late 2007, Obama's pick for cabinet-rank ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, clearly sees a problem. In her written testimony for her confirmation hearing Jan. 15, she noted that "Iran continues its illicit nuclear program unabated."

The other hub is the United Nations, which, despite its own sanctions on Iran and its own 1945 charter which aims to avert such horrors as another holocaust, continues to dignify Tehran and some of its fellow anti-Semitic despotic states with a slew of important UN posts, while treating Israel as a pariah state.

Though a democracy, Israel has never been allowed to hold one of the 10 rotating seats on a Security Council that in recent years has welcomed such tyrannies as Syria and Libya.

[There is] a deep-seated UN tradition of bias against Jews and Israel. That is broadly obvious from the UN's torrent of anti-Israel statements, resolutions and so forth, including plans to hold a repeat in Geneva this April of the UN's anti-Israel 2001 conference in Durban, South Africa, ostensibly convened to discuss racism.

Bayefsky has called upon Barack Obama to follow in George Bush’s footsteps-hard as that might be-and boycott Durban II. This would likely be in opposition to many in the State Department who have never found an international conference not to attend (the State Department also has a long tradition of genteel anti-Semitism; see also Breckenbridge Long’s role in preventing refugees from the Nazis from reaching American shores).

During the campaign, Barack Obama received some flak for making this statement “nobody has spoken out more fiercely on the issue of anti- Semitism than I have.”

Here is his chance to ensure these are not mere words, as he himself would phrase them.

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