Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

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State Department to Tackle Anti-Semitism in the Middle East

by Elliott Abrams
August 11, 2011

Tracking manifestations of anti-Semitism in the Middle East, where it is widespread and often state-supported, is a hugely difficult task that the State Department has not done well over the years, under several administrations. It is therefore very good news that today the Department seems determined to do better and is acting.

The Department announced today a grant of $200,000 to MEMRI:

“The Department of State’s Office of International Religious Freedom in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor awarded a $200,000 grant to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) to conduct a project that documents anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and Holocaust glorification in the Middle East. This grant will enable MEMRI to expand its efforts to monitor the media, translate materials into ten languages, analyze trends in anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial and glorification, and increase distribution of materials through its website and other outlets.”

Hats off to the Department and especially to the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, Hannah Rosenthal. I must acknowledge a special interest here: I sit on MEMRI’s board, and am a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. It is noteworthy that the grant, by referring to Holocaust denial, clarifies that this is a form of anti-Semitism. These topics are extremely sensitive, dealing as they do with Muslim anti-Semitism, and this helps explain why the U.S. Government has sometimes shied away from confronting the phenomenon.

For this reason as well, the new grant announced by Ms. Rosenthal deserves notice and commendation.

Post a Comment 10 Comments

  • Posted by Dan Friedman

    “State Department To Tackle Anti-Semitism In The Middle East”

    Good news. Now who’s going to tackle Anti-Semitism in The State Department.

  • Posted by W.R. Slade

    Anti-Semitism is nothing but the antagonistic attitude produced in the non-Jew by the Jewish group. The Jewish group has thrived on oppression and on the antagonism it has forever met in the world…the root cause is their use of enemies they create in order to keep solidarity. Albert Einstein

  • Posted by Mikal Islar

    Why is it the US State Department’s mandate to tackle religious issues/views/policies in any foreign country?

  • Posted by W.R. Slade

    What about Armenian Holocaust denial?

  • Posted by Pablo Schwartz

    um, why is the money of U.S. taxpayers going to support the objectives of the Likud Party? and if reasonable people are to expect this organization (“MEMRI”) to combat hatred, why is it they have John “angriest man in the world” Bolton on their board of directors. it is a puzzle!

  • Posted by Stephen Luftschein

    Since, apparently Israel no longer exists for the State Department, where might this anti semitism be directed towards?

  • Posted by neville craig

    Will the government define the term ‘Semite’?

    This seems to be a practical omission from the Global Anti-Semitic Review Act that surely calls in question this new initiative.

  • Posted by Steve

    The ME is a lost cause and has been for roo many generations! Try The EU and US first, but you cannot change the spots on the Leopards that are taught lieinf as an art.

  • Posted by africa-forever

    this article thank you

  • Posted by Farid Salman


    I am honored and pleased to communicate the first announcement of the SEMITIC UNION.
    I very much hope that this appeal will arouse in your heart and mind some reflections that will help construct the Semitic peace. Please follow this link to find the full document developing the real history of the conflict among the Semites and the only solution to establish a real constructive peace for the divided sons of Abraham.


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