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UNITED
NATIONS
E

        Economic and Social Council
Distr.
GENERAL
E/CN.4/2004/NGO/15
11 February 2004

ENGLISH ONLY

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Sixtieth session
Items 4, 6 and 17 of the provisional agenda


REPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND FOLLOW-UP TO THE WORLD CONFERENCE ON HUMAN RIGHTS


RACISM, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, XENOPHOBIA AND ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION
PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS


Written statement* submitted by the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ),
a non-governmental organization on the Roster

The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.


[23 January 2004]


* This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) received from the submitting non-governmental organization(s).

GE.04-10837



The alarming growth of Judeophobia/antisemitism since the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights [1993] during the UN Decade for Human Rights Education [1995-2004]
1. The WUPJ wishes to stress the appeal made last year by High Commissioner Sergio Vieira de Mello – tragically assassinated six months later by terrorists in Baghdad – in his first report to the Commission (Human Rights & Follow-up to the World Conference on Human Rights): “ I call the Commission and, through it, the international community at large to conscience…” “ Actions, not words, is what matters. Protection, not rhetoric is needed. We cannot shield gross violations of human rights – wherever they occur – behind the veneer of sovereignty or the chicanery of diplomatic procedures .” (under item 4: E/CN.4/2003/14, §1, 4)

2. In his report on ‘Information and Education: Study on the follow-up to the UN Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004)’, the High Commissioner suggested: “ A second decade would need to be properly structured, also through the organization of regular periodical events to create momentum and continuity .” (under item 17: E/CN.4/2003/101, § II. A (a) 10)

3. A preamble to last year’s Commission Resolution 2003/30, under agenda item 4, reads: “ Reaffirming the views of the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna in 1993, on the urgency of eliminating denials and violations of human rights.”

4. In an address to an OSCE symposium on Antisemitism in Vienna (17 June 2003), Acting High Commissioner Dr Bertrand Ramcharan reiterated that: “ Denial is not an option. Many people of course would like to deny the reality of anti-Semitism.” He then went on to recommend “ programmes of educational activities that can help deal with this phenomenon .”

5. Two days later, a renowned historian and world expert on antisemitism, Professor Robert Wistrich, delivered his address, as an independent expert, on ‘ Antisemitism in Europe Today’ to the same symposium, hosted by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

6. Twenty years ago (October 1984), in the preface to his Hitler’s Apocalypse. Jews and the Nazi Legacy (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1985), Wistrich predicted that: “ the evidence I have been able to marshal concerning the continuity of a radical and murderous antisemitism into the post-war era convinced me that we are dealing with a highly dangerous and fateful phenomenon which may possibly determine the future of our planet.” Today this is a certainty.

7. Again, concluding his global remarks at the opening meeting of the 60 th session of the Commission on 19 January 2004, Acting High Commissioner Bertrand Ramcharan stressed that “ the duty of conscience and the duty of protection go hand in hand .” He reiterated – and may well have had it in mind – the late High Commissioner’s call to the Commission, and the international community, to “conscience” – quoted above under our §1.

8. At the close of the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004), the World Union for Progressive Judaism is reprinting in full, with his permission, Prof. Robert Wistrich’s important text delivered at a very special event which should create momentum.(1)

9. ‘Antisemitism in Europe Today’. Address by Prof. Robert Wistrich at a symposium in Vienna on 19 June 2003 to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
_______

Notes

1. See also his “Anti-Zionism and Antiosionism,” reproduced in WUPJ’s written statement under items 5, 9, 18.

(*) Robert S. Wistrich is Neuberger Professor of modern European and Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He previously held the Chair for Jewish Studies at University College, London, as well as guest professorships at Harvard, Brandeis and Oxford Universities, and at the Royal Institute of Advanced Studies in the Netherlands. Between 1999-2001, Professor Wistrich was one of six historians appointed by the Vatican to the Catholic-Jewish historical Commission, which examined Pope Pius XII’s record during the Holocaust. He is the author of many highly acclaimed books, including the award-winning Socialism and the Jews [1982] and Antisemitism: The Longest Hatred [1992]. He also scripted, edited or presented several key documentary films for British television, including The Longest Hatred [1991], Good Morning Mr Hitler [1994] and Blaming the Jews 2003 . His latest study is Hitler and the Holocaust . [2001]. In 2002 he became Director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is editor-in-chief of its annual journal, Antisemitism International.


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