The State Department has said it opposes the bill because it would show favoritism by "extending exclusive status to one religious or ethnic group."
Rep. Tom Lantos (D-California), a Holocaust survivor, authored the proposed Global Anti-Semitism Awareness Act.
"The State Department's position on the Lantos legislation carries troubling echoes of the past," says the September 10 letter organized by former Democratic congressman Stephen Solarz and the Pennsylvania-based David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.
The institute, the letter says, "has documented how, during the Holocaust, the State Department did its best to downplay the Jewish identity of Hitler's victims – even though the Nazi regime had clearly singled out Jews for annihilation."
In a letter to Lantos in July, the State Department's Bureau of Legislative Affairs said the Department "strongly agrees that anti-Semitism is a problem, and one that the US Government is working vigorously to eliminate."
It noted, however, that the department already details anti-Semitic acts and attitudes through its annual human rights and international religious freedom reports.
A separate reporting requirement on anti-Semitism "could erode our credibility by being interpreted as favoritism in human rights reporting," it said.
Those who signed the letter to Powell included former secretary of housing Jack Kemp, former US ambassador to the UN Jeane Kirkpatrick, former CIA director James Woolsey, former national security adviser Anthony Lake, Yale University Divinity School Dean Harold Attridge, writer Cynthia Ozick, and Richard Perle, a former Pentagon adviser who is now a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Many who signed the critique, like Perle, are strong supporters of the Bush administration.
From Astro Awani (Malaysia): A couple decided to create something memorable on their wedding day: stepping on and burning the Israeli f...
Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون
This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 11 years and over 23,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.
The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"
Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..." Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..." Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history." AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..." Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable." Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen." Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned." Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation." The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things." Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB." Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it." Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"