Statement by the President on the UN General Assembly Meeting on the Rise of Anti-Semitism (January 22)

Earlier this week in my State of the Union address, I affirmed our commitment and responsibility as Americans to speak out against the deplorable resurgence of anti-Semitism in certain parts of the world.   Today, the United States is joining partners from around the world in doing just that.  At the request of the United States and 36 other nations, the United Nations General Assembly will gather to discuss the growing scourge of anti-Semitism.  It is the first such meeting of the General Assembly, and an important moment both in confronting this global challenge, and in our ongoing work to promote the universal rights and fundamental freedoms memorialized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Anti-Semitic attacks like the recent terrorist attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris pose a threat that extends beyond the Jewish community.  They also threaten the values we hold dear — pluralism, diversity, and the freedoms of religion and expression. Moreover, when the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Jews are repressed, the rights and freedoms of other minorities and other sectors are often not far behind.  For all these reasons, combating anti-Semitism is an essential responsibility for all of us.  Every nation, every region, and every community must do its part.  I call on the members of the UN General Assembly to lend their voice to this struggle, and pledge the unwavering support of the United States as we wage this fight together.