Nadler Statement in Support of Turkish Jews

Nov 24, 2003

New York -- Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) today made the following statement at a Russian American Jews for Israel rally in front of the Turkish Mission to the United Nations, to show support for the people of Turkey and the Turkish Jewish community following the recent terrorist attacks in Istanbul:

I would like to thank the Russian American Jews for Israel, the American Jewish Committee, and the Jewish Community Relations Council for bringing us together today in support of the people of Turkey and the Turkish Jewish community. Tragically, Jews in Istanbul were targeted last week by al Qaeda, which continues to carry out their hateful agenda to terrorize Jewish communities. But we will not give in to their terror. No amount of suicide bombings will break our solidarity.

On November 15, terrorists attacked two synagogues in Istanbul, killing 25 and injuring more than 250 Jews who were at prayer on the Sabbath. These horrific bombings against innocents -- who were targeted simply for their faith -- are another reminder that global anti-Semitism is on the rise.

In only the past few weeks, synagogues were destroyed and Jewish schools burned to the ground. World leaders have also expressed anti-Semitic beliefs. One only needs to recall the remarks made recently by the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, who, at a summit of Islamic leaders, said, "the Jews rule the world by proxy," and that Islamic nations must unite against being "defeated by a few million Jews."

Those who were present during Mohamad's remarks included Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah, Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, and Russia's President Vladimir Putin. These heads of state, who are considered allies of the United States, did not so much as flinch when Mohamad spoke these words. Instead, they gave him a standing ovation.

While President Bush denounced Mohamad for his vile rhetoric, he has failed to encourage these so-called "allies" to do the same. Their response -- or lack thereof -- is illustrative of the current state of the world, where bigotry is not only accepted by world leaders, but is applauded.

The world community must work together to fight global terror. But we will make little headway until our world leaders take responsibility to denounce all forms of anti-Semitism when it occurs. Rampant anti-Semitism will not help us win the war on terrorism. The President must insist that these so-called "allies" of ours make it clear that they will not stand up for anti-Semitism it in their respective nations, as well as in the world community. Only with responsible leadership will peace and tolerance prevail in the Middle East and throughout the world.