Statement of Condolences on Shooting at Jewish Museum in Brussels

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the Permanent Council,
Vienna, May 29, 2014

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The United States wishes to extend its condolences to the Jewish community of Brussels, the people of the countries from which the victims came, and all others affected by the shootings at the Brussels Jewish Museum on May 24.  The murder of three innocent human beings is reprehensible. We offer our deepest sympathy to the families of the victims, and our hopes that the victim who remains in critical condition recovers.

We are also deeply concerned about the brutal beating of two Jewish brothers as they were leaving a synagogue in France that same day.

We appreciate the swift work of the Belgian government and the French government to improve security at Jewish sites and look forward to a thorough investigation of these appalling crimes.

This fall, the OSCE will commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Berlin Declaration on Anti-Semitism. These most recent vicious attacks demonstrate how much work remains. We urge all OSCE participating States to recognize that anti-Semitism is not only a historical fact, but an ongoing problem throughout the OSCE space. Recent studies by the Fundamental Rights Agency, and just in the last two weeks by the Anti-Defamation League, have given us new insights into the extent of this problem. We appreciate the swift condemnation of these attacks by the Chairperson-in-Office and his call for participating States to restate their commitments to combating anti-Semitism.

Ten years ago in Berlin, we came together to condemn all manifestations of anti-Semitism. Ten years ago, we denounced attacks motivated by anti-Semitism. We call on all participating States to recommit themselves to combat anti-Semitism and all other forms of intolerance and hatred in the OSCE region and throughout the international community.

Thank you.