Ambassador Gingrich’s Remarks at “Never Again:  Confronting the Global Rise of Anti-Semitism” Symposium

Opening Remarks
Ambassador Callista L. Gingrich
“Never Again:  Confronting the Global Rise of Anti-Semitism”

Rome, Italy
November 19, 2020

Your Eminence, Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, and friends,

Welcome to our symposium, entitled, “Never Again:  Confronting the Global Rise of Anti-Semitism.”

Today’s symposium is being live-streamed on the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See’s Facebook page.

I’d like to thank the Honorable Elan Carr, U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, for joining us from California.

I would also like to thank Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See’s Secretary of State, for offering closing remarks from Vatican City.

Finally, I’d like to thank our moderator, Mr. Phil Pullella, and our distinguished panel of experts for their participation.

Today’s symposium is dedicated to discussing the importance of Holocaust remembrance and education, and to sharing best practices for confronting the rise of anti-Semitism around the world.

Just seventy-five years after the liberation of Auschwitz and the defeat of Nazism, anti-Semitism is on the rise.

In many places around the world, Jews are vilified, demonized, and physically attacked.

In the United States, the rate of anti-Semitic incidents has risen to near-historic levels, punctuated by deadly massacre in Pittsburgh, horrific attacks in Jersey City, and repeated attacks in New York City.

In Europe nearly 80 percent of European Jews believe anti-Semitism is a growing problem, and 40 percent live in daily fear of being attacked.

This is unconscionable, and every free society has a stake in reversing this trend.

Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States has taken bold action to raise awareness of the Holocaust and to confront the rise of anti-Semitism at home and abroad.

As the President said earlier this year in marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, “[We] recommit ourselves to the fight against anti-Semitism and to the two words that cannot be repeated often enough:  Never Again.”

The President is right.  Assuring such atrocities will never again occur requires action.

In 2018, President Trump signed the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today Act, which requires the U.S. Department of State to report to Congress on steps taken by 47 countries to compensate Holocaust survivors and their heirs for assets seized by Nazi Germany and post-war communist governments.

The President also issued an Executive Order in 2019, ensuring that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extends to anti-Semitic discrimination.

And last month, the U.S. Department of State aired its first-ever conference on combating online anti-Semitism.

The United States government is also pressing other governments to provide adequate security for their Jewish populations and is advocating for the investigation, prosecution, and punishment of hate crimes.

Currently, our government works with the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, and other international organizations to confront and combat anti-Semitism.

Faith communities, through partnerships, coalitions, dialogue, and mutual respect, also have an important role to play.

The Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council in the United States is one example of successful interfaith cooperation, bringing together leaders in American Jewish and Muslim communities to advocate for issues of common concern.

Likewise, the Muslim Jewish Leadership Council in Europe unites prominent figures from both communities to “free religious people and religions from prejudice, false claims, attacks, and violence.”

And at the Vatican, Pope Francis is a significant ally in the fight against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.  In his message to the Simon Wiesenthal Center in January, Pope Francis called upon each of us to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive.  He warned, “If we lose our memory, we destroy our future.”

In March, Pope Francis opened the Apostolic Archives of Pope Pius XII.  Many Jewish organizations have expressed support for this decision and welcomed the availability of the records.

I am delighted that we are joined today by Dr. Suzanne Brown-Fleming from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  We are excited to hear more from Dr. Brown-Fleming on the importance of opening these historical records.

As we come together today to reaffirm our commitment to fight anti-Semitism, let us remember that through dialogue and cooperation, across governments, faith communities, and civil society, we can confront and overcome this unspeakable evil.

Thank you.