Senator: Anti-Israel sentiment contributes to 'significant increase' in anti-Semitism

The chairman of the Helsinki Commission said there is "no question about" anti-Israel sentiment contributing to the growing trend of global anti-Semitism.

"It does go in that direction," Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) told The Hill in a sit-down interview in his office last week after stating "there's been a significant increase in international anti-Semitism sparked by international events."

"But there's good news, bad news here," he said. "The bad news is there's an escalation of anti-Semitism. The good news is it's recognized by the governments, and the governments are doing something to try to prevent it."

Cardin said the members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have been implementing a strategy during the past several years to confront the problem, including educational programs, Holocaust remembrance, police training and public officials speaking out when anti-Semitism occurs.

"So we have a game plan to fight anti-Semitism," he said. "In Europe, there is a rise in anti-Semitism but it's not government-instituted. Some countries are better than others in dealing with it."

Cardin said the OSCE has also implemented strategies to confront "anti-Muslim activities and other forms of discrimination."