Washington D.C. – Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican of the House Foreign Affairs Committee delivered the following opening statement at today’s subcommittee hearing  on resisting anti-Semitism and xenophobia in Europe. 

Click to Watch

– Remarks as Delivered –

“I thank Chairman Keating for calling this important hearing to examine the rise of anti-Semitism and xenophobia in Europe.

“As the son of a World War II veteran, a B-17 bombardier who bombed the Nazis 75 years ago to end their anti-Semitic regime, it saddens me that we are still struggling with the same issues that the Greatest Generation defeated. A recent report by the EU said that in Europe today, “anti-Semitism pervades everyday life.”  This is a tragedy.  It is unacceptable. And Congress must lead the charge in addressing this scourge.

This is an international issue and it requires an international solution. Our first panel will remind us of the tragedy that can result if we do not, as the Chairman said, take this problem seriously. Al Münzer will share his story as a survivor of the Holocaust. And Deborah Lipstadt, one of the world’s leading experts on the Holocaust, who herself has been victimized by anti-Semitic Holocaust denial, which astounds me that people could actually deny it happened, she will explain the importance of ongoing Holocaust education.

“For our second panel, we will turn to the present day. Our witnesses will examine the different strains of anti-Semitism in Europe that are combining to create an atmosphere where many Jews fear for their safety. Understanding the drivers of this hatred is essential to preventing its spread.

“I am grateful to this Administration for taking this fight seriously. I have met with their Special Envoy to Combat Anti-Semitism, Elan Carr, who told me about how he travels the world, working with our partners to identify the best way to fight anti-Semitism in their countries. This is a problem in Europe. It is also a problem in the United States.  

“And I hope our witnesses will offer concrete solutions for how Congress can help the Administration succeed in fighting this anti-Semitism in Europe and the United States.  This is not a partisan issue at such a partisan time. It’s not Republican or Democrat, it’s American, back to our core values. Earlier this week, the House voted in an overwhelming bipartisan fashion to ensure funding for Holocaust education in our country. I think about my own children today. For them, it seems like ancient history. For me, it is one generation away. It was an extinction, unfortunately, and it could happen again. And the words we always say: “Never Again.” 

“So we are leading by example in the United States with our commitment to understanding the poison of anti-Semitism. Now, we must help others solidify their commitment to this fight. So, thanks again Mr. Chairman for holding this. I thank the witnesses for their testimony. I yield back the balance of my time.”