Summary

  • WHAT: On-the-Record Briefing
  • WHEN: Wednesday, September 11, 2019; 1:00 pm
  • WHERE: 799 UN Plaza, 10th Floor (SW corner of East 45th Street and 1st Avenue)
  • BACKGROUND: Special Envoy Elan Carr briefed on the United States’ efforts to monitor and combat anti-Semitism around the world.  Combating anti-Semitism is a priority for this administration.  President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Secretary Pompeo have publicly expressed their deep concern about high levels of anti-Semitism. The State Department continues to devote significant resources towards programs aimed at combatting anti-Semitism online and offline and at building NGO coalitions around the world dedicated to this goal.  Anti-Semitism is not just a “Jewish problem” but a societal one.  All forms of ethnic and religious persecution are direct threats to universal values of individual liberty and dignity, and to the very foundation of democratic societies.  Following his remarks, Special Envoy Carr participated in a question and answer session with journalists.  

 

NEW YORK FOREIGN PRESS CENTER, 799 UNITED NATIONS PLAZA, 10TH FLOOR 

MODERATOR:  Good afternoon.  We’re very pleased to have Elan Carr with us today.  He is the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism at the U.S. Department of State.  I’ll turn the program over to him in just a moment.  A few housekeeping items before we start:  Please take a moment to silence your cell phones. 

MR CARR:  I bet I should do that too. 

MODERATOR:  (Laughter.)  And at the conclusion of his remarks, we’ll open the floor for questions.  As a courtesy, please state your name and your media affiliation before you ask your question.  As a reminder, today’s briefing is on the record, and with that, let me turn it over to Special Envoy Carr. 

MR CARR:  Well, thank you so much, and I thank the Foreign Press Center and our UN mission here in New York for your hospitality and for arranging this, which I think is very important as somebody who’s been overseas now on multiple trips.  The chance to meet with the foreign press and answer your questions is, I think, a particularly important thing to do, so thank you for your hospitality and thank you all for being here. 

As the United States envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, I’m privileged to hold an office that was created in 2004 by law and by design with overwhelming bipartisan support dedicated to protecting the Jewish people throughout the world.  And I’m proud to hold that office on behalf of President Trump and Secretary Pompeo and an entire administration committed in unprecedented fashion to the fight against anti-Semitism, to the protection of the Jewish people throughout the world, and to support for the state of Israel. 

And it bears reflection for a moment as to why the United States of America would create an office like this and why the United States would make this such a top global priority as President Trump has made it.  And there are two answers to that question.  One is that the United States has historically been and still remains the most Philo-Semitic country on Earth, and that’s something of which most Americans are deeply proud. 

But there’s another reason as well, and that is that the fight against anti-Semitism isn’t only about protecting Jews.  If it were only about protecting Jews, that would be moral reason enough to do it, but it’s not about only protecting Jews.  President Trump at every opportunity calls anti-Semitism a vile poison.  He refers to it as the vile poison of anti-Semitism.  And it is exactly that because anti-Semitism has been history’s greatest barometer of human suffering, and every society that has imbibed this vile poison has rotted to its core and produced human misery at a level that defies description.   

I’ve been to Europe several times, and certainly that lesson doesn’t need to be taught in Europe where an anti-Semitic ideology defeated 75 years ago left the continent in wreckage.  But I want to give another example closer to home and closer also to this day.  Eighteen years ago today, an ideology defined by anti-Semitic hatred took the lives of nearly 3,000 Americans here in New York and in Washington, D.C.  And the President of the United States just this morning at the Pentagon said that we can never erase the pain or the evil of that dark and wretched day, and it was a dark and wretched day. 

And so these two examples from Europe and right here from New York point with great urgency to the need for us to devote all of our resources to this fight against anti-Semitism – this ancient, relentless human sickness often called the world’s oldest hatred.  And God willing, with the support of this administration and the American people, we’ll be able to not only contain, but more importantly, roll back the global rise in anti-Semitism that we’re seeing in Europe and even here in the United States. 

And with that, I’m happy to turn it over to you for questions.  

MODERATOR:  Go ahead, James. 

QUESTION:  Thanks so much for coming and talking to us today. 

MR CARR:  Thank you. 

QUESTION:  My name is James Reinl.  I’m writing this one for Middle East Eye.  What’s your stance within the administration as to how they feel about Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent election campaign platform to annex parts of the West Bank into Israel?  And does this work within the U.S. – the framework of the U.S. peace plan that’s being planned? 

And from your own point of view, when you hear something like that, do you think your job just got a bit harder and maybe that’s going to make a bit of anti-Semitism worse? 

MR CARR:  So your first question is – my sense is exactly what the White House said about the prime minister’s statement, which is there is no change in U.S. policy.  So that’s the case, U.S. policy is clear: no change.   

About your second question, I think it’s very, very important to make this point.  Anti-Semitism throughout history, including the so-called new anti-Semitism that focuses on Zionism in Israel, has very often – almost always, I would say, but very often focused on things that Jews do factually or fictionally as a trigger point for anti – for the anti-Semitic response.   

So lately it’s very popular to say, “Well, it’s all because of something Israel does or has done.”  Sometimes fictionally these blood libels of Israel committing genocide or apartheid, which is a despicable blood libel that’s no different than the medieval blood libels leveled against the Jewish people, or something Israel actually does, like the prime minister’s statement or like a building project somewhere here or a military operation there.  The fact of the matter is whether one can take issue with an Israeli policy or not, anti-Semitism isn’t caused by anything Jews do.  That is the fundamental starting point.  It has to be remembered, because anything else is a distraction from the fight.   

Anti-Semitism started way before Prime Minister Netanyahu.  It’s thousands and thousands of years in the making.  And just because people point to something as an excuse doesn’t mean it’s really the excuse.  By the way, Kristallnacht even was blamed on something in that case not fictional, but actual: the assassination of a German diplomat by a Jew.  But we know that just because the Nazis claim that Kristallnacht was a response to something a Jew did, it doesn’t mean we’re so gullible as to believe it.  

So I would say that we need to focus on the source of this evil and not be distracted by saying, “Well, if Israel didn’t do this or didn’t do that” – I think that’s a distraction and that really doesn’t do justice to the relentless and pathological nature of this hatred. 

QUESTION:  Thanks. 

QUESTION:  Hi.  I’m Masatoshi Nagata with Kyodo News, Japan.  There are —  

MR CARR:  Pleasure. 

QUESTION:  Yeah.  There are reports of much increase incidents against Jews in the U.S. for the last two years.  And how do you respond to the criticism that it’s been – that your current President of the United States remarks and behaviors are behind it? 

MR CARR:  Well certainly, again, it’s the world’s oldest hatred.  They don’t call it that for nothing.  And it’s been increasing now for a number of years.  So, first of all, there isn’t any data to indicate that anything this administration has done or its existence even is related to that rise.  

But now to the content.  I think it is very unfair to suggest that President Trump is somehow responsible for this.  I think that given his statements, which could not possibly be clearer – I mean, he’s talked about this – the evil of anti-Semitism, the vile poison of anti-Semitism, the need to tear this out of our midst.  He spent a substantial chunk of time in his State of the Union address last February talking about this hatred and the need to fight it.  My goodness, I mean, the most important speech any president makes all year, the fact that he devoted time to talking about this – I don’t think we’ve ever had a president or an administration this committed to this fight.  And so to somehow suggest that he is responsible for it is, I think, just – this is the weaponization of anti-Semitism for political gain.   

And my operating principle since my appointment six months ago is that we don’t talk about – we don’t say, “Well, it’s all about the right, it’s all about the left.”  It’s all bad.  Wherever anti-Semitism comes from, Jew hatred is Jew hatred.  It’s got to be fought.  And any fair assessment of this would acknowledge that President Trump has been one of the greatest assets we could possibly have in this fight against anti-Semitism, and, by the way, in the fight against hatred generally.   

He just two days ago spoke about another ethnic hatred that has nothing to do with Jews, and he talked about – he called this El Paso shooter a soulless and bigoted monster motivated by evil hatred.  There, again, another ethnic hatred not against the Jewish peoples.  I think President Trump has been a champion of this cause, and I thank him for that.  And my boss, Secretary Pompeo, couldn’t possibly be a greater ally or a greater friend of the fight against anti-Semitism or an ally of the Jewish people. 

QUESTION:  Thank you. 

MODERATOR:  Go ahead, Mr. Kim. 

QUESTION:  I come from the Korean Gospel Broadcasting in Los Angeles, California.  I lived in Israel for 16 years from — 

MR CARR:  Where did you live?  

QUESTION:  Yeah, Haifa (inaudible).  

MR CARR:  Okay. 

QUESTION:  (In Hebrew.)   

MR CARR:  (In Hebrew.)  

QUESTION:  Officially (inaudible) Israel.  My second daughter was born in Israel, in Haifa.   

MR CARR:  Yeah. 

QUESTION:  Yeah, yeah.   

MR CARR:  Daphne, can I just get a napkin or something?  It’s very hot in here.   

MODERATOR:  Absolutely, absolutely.   

MR CARR:  And if you can turn the air on, if there’s – I don’t know if there’s air conditioning.   

Yeah, go ahead.  I’m sorry.  

QUESTION:  Yeah.  When I was in Israel, I saw, I met a lot with the Jewish people from all over the world.  Right now they’re not coming back to – like, the Aliyah. 

MR CARR:  Yeah. 

QUESTION:  Is it a connection with anti-Semitism to connect between – to make Aliyah into the state of the Israel? 

MR CARR:  No, I don’t think – I mean, I don’t think Jews making Aliyah to Israel has anything to do with anti-Semitism.  Anti-Semitism existed well before the modern commonwealth of the state of Israel; it’s thousands of years old.  And so I think – I think, again, we need to focus on the source of this evil, and the source of this evil is not anything Jews do.  Even when an individual Jew might do the wrong thing, it’s not – it’s not – that’s not the source of the evil.  The source of the evil is from the ethnic supremacist far right, from the Israel-hating radical left, and from militant Islam.  Those are the three sources of anti-Semitism, and they have to be recognized for what they are and fought for what they are. 

(In Hebrew.) 

QUESTION:  You can speak Hebrew, right? 

MR CARR:  I can. 

QUESTION:  (In Hebrew.) 

MR CARR:  (In Hebrew.)   

QUESTION:  Hi, I’m Nicolas Rauline from the French newspaper Les Echos.  Two questions.  Can you talk a little bit more about the actions you have in the U.S. and throughout the world to prevent anti-Semitism?  And do you work closely with social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, not only to prevent hate speech but also to work on the real causes of anti-Semitism? 

MR CARR:  Yeah, so that’s a great question.  Every country is different.  Again, I talked about the three sources of anti-Semitism.  Those are three global sources of anti-Semitism, but every country, every community has its own milieu and its own trigger points.  Before I engage in any bilateral diplomatic visit to a country, I prepare extensively, I meet with every Jewish organization doing work in that country, I meet with our Intelligence Community, and then I go overseas and I have a specific list of requests.  I can give you some examples, and by the way, I’m happy to report that the talks I’ve had overseas have gone very well and my meetings have been well received, in part because of the President’s focus on this and Secretary Pompeo’s focus on this, but also in part because I think foreign leaders genuinely understand that this is a problem.  This is a crisis that’s been rising, and I think there is resolve to do something about it, and that, by the way, is a very happy, optimistic note.  We always focus on the bad news.  That’s the good news, that people get it and really want to do something about it. 

But an example of some of the things that I’ve been pushing overseas is, one, adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, which has been a game-changer and very important.  So for those countries who haven’t adopted it, I ask that they do it.  Second of all, the appointment of national anti-Semitism coordinators that can actually focus on this.  I want to thank the United Kingdom and Prime Minister Boris Johnson for appointing MP John Mann, who just left parliament to become the national UK anti-Semitism coordinator.  John and I have worked together.  He is a champion of this cause, and I’m incredibly excited about the role he has undertaken and I want to thank the United Kingdom for doing that.   

Another common ask I have is the disaggregation of hate crime data so that it can be reported and tracked in the proper way.  What we’re seeing is that some countries, while they measure hate crimes, they don’t always disaggregate the data so you don’t know if it’s a hate crime against Jews or against some other group.  And so it’s very important that that be properly cataloged and disaggregated so we know what – we can measure incidences in the right way.   

Another example is legislation that might deal with anti-Semitism and hate crimes.  

Another issue is monetary, budgetary appropriations to protect Jewish communities in countries where Jewish communities are actually physically in danger, where attacks are quite commonplace.  All of these are examples, and there are many, many other examples as well.   

You asked domestically.  Domestically, we’re working on a number of things – this is through my colleagues in the White House.  We are – the White House has already convened several meetings that brought together the State Department, represented by me, and the Department of Justice, Education, and Treasury.  Now, we think about that.  The Treasury Department, the Justice Department, the Department of Education – these are the agencies that can bring real force to bear on the fight against anti-Semitism domestically.  And I’m very proud to say that this administration has brought everyone together to have a full-court press to deal with this problem domestically.  And like I said, we have to focus on it domestically as well.  Anti-Semitism is rising here in the United States as well.  I spoke at the funeral of Laurie Kay in Poway, California, who was murdered in synagogue on Shabbat because she was a Jew.  And of course, the U.S. college campuses have in many cases become places where Jewish students are subject to bullying and hostility because they’re Jews, and where Israel and even the right of the Jewish people to self-determination is vilified in the most disgraceful language.  And so this is unacceptable, and we’re working on it. 

QUESTION:  So there was another question about your work with social platforms. 

MR CARR:  Yes.  So this is a very big issue.  What we’re seeing across the world is the internet and social media is boiling over with anti-Semitic hatred.  And while the internet is a vehicle for great good, it’s also been a vehicle for great evil, and it’s been the vector in many cases of our national diseases and for our global diseases.  This has to be addressed.  I’m very proud that we’ve made real gains overseas.  And now, thanks to the work that a number of Jewish organizations as well as the United States have done in Europe, anti-Semitic postings and websites are taken down more quickly today than ever before.  It’s a much faster response in Europe.  I’m looking forward to going in the Bay Area and meeting with high-tech leaders to discuss ways that we can improve this here in the United States.  Because again, nobody wants their platforms to become vehicles for anti-Semitic hatred, or frankly for any kind of ethnic hatred.  It’s unacceptable, and it’s dangerous.  And so I look forward to working with these social media platforms in putting forth an infrastructure that will address this problem in the right way. 

QUESTION:  (Inaudible) Die Welt (inaudible).  One of your predecessors once told me that your job is totally bipartisan.  To what extent is that still true today?  And you called President Trump the greatest asset in the fight against anti-Semitism.  Does that imply a criticism of his predecessors? 

MR CARR:  So first of all, no.  It reminds me of the joke that a mother gets her son two ties for his – and the next time she sees him he’s wearing one of the ties she bought, and she says to him, “What’s the matter?  You didn’t like the other one?”  So no, the fact that I’m saying that President Trump is the greatest asset in this fight and that we’ve never had a president like this committed as strongly to the fight against anti-Semitism, and to support for the Jewish people, is not a condemnation of the predecessors.  It’s only saying that – it’s an expression of enormous gratitude to this administration.  And so yes, he is an absolute asset.  And your other question? 

QUESTION:  To what extent would you say the fight against anti-Semitism is still a bipartisan thing? 

MR CARR:  Ah, yes.  So it is, very much so.  I have the great privilege of working with many Democratic members of Congress.  I just recently did an event with a Democratic congressman in his district – a media event, it was a press conference, where we stood together.  There was no partisan division between us.  This is Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, who is – by the way, Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey is an absolute champion of this fight, and is really a bipartisan leader.  He and I were – stood at a podium together and talked about the importance of fighting this fight together.  You can’t get more bipartisan than that.   

Also, recently I briefed the House Bipartisan Task Force on Anti-Semitism.  I think something like 30 members of Congress came to the briefing.  It was – many Democrats obviously sat around the table, and we talked very candidly about anti-Semitism from the right and from the left and from militant Islam, and there is overwhelming support for the work we’re doing.  And I cannot sufficiently thank great leaders like Chairman Eliot Engel and Chairwoman Nita Lowey and Subcommittee Chairman Deutch, and just really terrific leaders on the democratic side as well as incredible champions – I mean, Congressman Chris Smith is –  you can’t get better than that.  My office wouldn’t have been created without Chris Smith, who came together with Mike Pence, who was in Congress at the time, and democratic Congressman Tom Lantos, and created my office.  So the history of this is bipartisan and it still is very much bipartisan, and I’m very grateful for that.  

QUESTION:  Isn’t Josh Gottheimer the guy from far northern New Jersey?  

MR CARR:  Bergen County?  Yes.  

QUESTION:  Bergen – also Sussex County, up at the northern tip. 

MR CARR:  Well, definitely Bergen, I don’t know – I don’t exactly know the border of the district.  

QUESTION:  I think he is.  My mother grew up on a farm in his district. 

MR CARR:  Oh really. 

QUESTION:  A long, long – Branchville, New Jersey.  

MR CARR:  There are farms in New Jersey – Northern New Jersey?  There are no farms in New York. 

MODERATOR:  George, if you have a question, can you introduce yourself? 

QUESTION:  Yeah, sorry.  I’m George Baumgarten. 

MR CARR:  Pleasure. 

QUESTION:  I represent a polyglot collection of media.  I’m a correspondent for Jewish newspapers in North America. 

MR CARR:  Great. 

QUESTION:  I’ve been published as far east as Boston, as far west as Las Vegas, not California yet.  Also, occasionally UK, occasionally Israel — 

QUESTION:  What’s the question, George?  What’s the question? 

QUESTION:  No – and other media as far afield as East Africa, Georgia, Kazakhstan.  I just wanted to ask you about him in particular, but I may have some further questions. 

MR CARR:  Okay.   

QUESTION:  Could I do one more?  You mentioned something before about Jews in other countries, anti-Semitism.  You mentioned attacks where some kind of – some (inaudible) danger.  You’re a State Department official, so what’s happening overseas is probably your – the biggest part of your portfolio.  If you could pick a top three countries in the world where you’re really concerned about Jews, Jewish populations, civilians being under threat, under attack, what would they be?  And what in your position can you and are you doing about it?  

MR CARR:  Well I answered – in terms of what I’m doing, I mean, I kind of – I went through a list of key policy positions that I asked for. 

QUESTION:  Was maybe after something country-specific. 

MR CARR:  Yeah, so look, I don’t want to single out countries because I think it’s unfair.  I think a lot of countries that have real problems internally are trying to deal with it and trying to do the right thing.  I look forward to encouraging them and helping them.  But I will say this:  Look, the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency commissioned a survey of the Jewish communities of Europe.  And that’s a public poll that was released, and the results are alarming.  Nearly 90 percent of the Jewish communities of multiple countries – certainly, for example, of France – identified anti-Semitism as a critical problem and say that it’s rising.  A substantial percentage of those populations in many countries in Europe are contemplating emigrating, literally talking about leaving because they’re afraid for their future.   

Now, I don’t think anybody of good will would say that’s acceptable.  And look, I mentioned France, but I want to thank President Macron for making a very, very strong statement about this.  Now we have to ensure that there is sufficient follow-through.  I’ll be going to France in November and I look forward to having a constructive, diplomatic visit to Paris, and we’re going to be talking about the issues that are going on in France.   

But look, I was in the UK, I spent time in the UK about a month ago.  I’ll be going back in October.  The challenges there are urgent.  I mean, I was told by no shortage of British Jews that they’re terrified about what’s happened to the Labor Party, and I’ve also been told by some British Jews that they are looking to buy property out of the country because they’re concerned about what might happen.  Look, I – this is not acceptable.  And for communities to be that fearful of their future in their country, countries where – I mean, these – Jewish communities have been a part of these countries for years.  And we just have to work with these countries and with our friends and partners to make the situation better.   

And again, I want to say that one of my great pleasures in my office is working with incredible allies and friends that we have in these other countries who are champions of this cause, absolute – I mean, you couldn’t get more passion.  For example, the EU coordinator on anti-Semitism, Katharina von Schnurbein – great ally and someone with whom I have the great privilege of working very closely.  I mentioned John Mann earlier in the UK, Felix Klein in Germany; the deputy foreign minister of Bulgaria, Georg Georgiev, who’s the national coordinator against anti-Semitism – these are, by the way, non-Jews who are – who could not possibly be stronger advocates for the need to fight this fight and the need to win this fight.  And so – Lord Pickles, another great, great champion of this cause in the United Kingdom. 

So I think that really – I would be very worried if we didn’t have friends like that, but part of my job is to support with the full weight of the United States those friends and allies that are doing the right thing and fighting this fight.  And I look forward to doing that.  I’ll tell our friend from Die Welt here that I’m shortly going to be going to Germany for my first diplomatic visit.  I’ll be in Munich for a conference of all these anti-Semitism envoys and coordinators from around the world.  We’re going to be meeting in Munich to discuss how to share best practices and how we can come up with global strategies to fight this global sickness that’s on the rise in the world, and then I’ll be going to Berlin for a diplomatic visit to Germany.   

I look forward to engaging the German Government, which traditionally has been just tremendously strong on fighting anti-Semitism, and obviously sensitive to historical events, but just really, really terrific.  One of my big asks is going to be to designate Hizballah in all of its forms as a terrorist organization.  I think not to do so is to really – is to give a gift to those who are threatening the safety of the Jewish people throughout the world, and I’ll be engaging Germany on that issue and many others. 

QUESTION:  If you’re in Munich, make sure to see the new Jewish community center.  It’s quite sight. 

MR CARR:  I shall.  Yeah, I’ve heard.  I’ve heard it’s great. 

Yes, George. 

QUESTION:  Several things.  Thank you.  I’m, among other things, as I started – or ended up telling you, correspondent for The Astana Times in Kazakhstan.  I want to ask you about basically two different things.  Number one, what can you tell me about the situation of Jewish communities in Georgia and in Kazakhstan?  My nephew was just in Georgia.  I haven’t spoken to him since he came back – and in – as you may know, there is a small community in Astana.  There’s a rather larger community in Almaty. 

Also, what do you – effect do you think the election is going to have on this? 

MR CARR:  Which election? 

QUESTION:  In the UK, in the UK.  Are lots of people going to vote for Corbyn, going to vote Labor just because they think Johnson and his attitude toward Brexit are a walking disaster area, and might Corbyn get in in that situation and what would that do to the Jewish community? 

MR CARR:  So – so look, I don’t want to – right, so — 

QUESTION:  I should tell you I know that Jewish community very well. 

MR CARR:  Well, it’s a big Jewish community, right. 

QUESTION:  Yeah, it’s a big Jewish community, bigger than anyone except – anywhere except France. 

MR CARR:  So I will say first of all, about former Soviet republics, there are Jewish communities in all of them.  Tajikistan as well – you didn’t mention there’s a Jewish community there.  Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan actually – and let me take this opportunity to say that Azerbaijan really has been an extraordinary role model of a country that doesn’t only talk about tolerance, but really practices interethnic and interfaith affection, where the Muslim community, the Jewish community, the Christian community really work together and help each other, not just – again, we talk about tolerance.  I guess we’ll settle for tolerance, but really, we shouldn’t aspire to tolerance, we should aspire to affection and to mutual embrace between diverse groups.  And that’s certainly what I’d like to see in the world, and the Azerbaijanis really practice that, and I’m really grateful to them and I think it’s quite extraordinary.  I’m looking forward to going to the region.  I’ve not been there yet.  I look forward to visiting those communities, and I’ll have more to report to you when I come back. 

With regard to the UK, obviously I don’t want to comment on internal politics in the UK.  I don’t believe any election has been called even yet.  I don’t think there is an election in the UK, so look, I don’t know what will happen.  But regardless of what happens, the United Kingdom is a great ally of the United States.  We hope it will remain so.  But it’s got to be very clear that we expect countries, especially European countries, to fight anti-Semitism and not to traffic in it.  And that’s going to be the message of the United States – that is the message of the United States to every country, and that’s going to continue to be the message of the United States, and we certainly hope the United Kingdom does the right thing and continues, as it has been doing, to fight anti-Semitism.  I think, by the way, the United Kingdom has a very good record on combating anti-Semitism, and we’d like to see them continue that record. 

QUESTION:  If I can just follow up on that? 

MODERATOR:  George, we – we’re running kind of close on time.  So — 

QUESTION:  Okay, I’ll talk to you afterward. 

MR CARR:  I can do one more if you go quick. 

MODERATOR:  Yeah, we’ll go to George and then we’ll finish with you, James. 

QUESTION:  Okay. 

QUESTION:  Okay, the Jewish community is about a quarter of a million.  It’s not normally critical to throw an election one way or the other.  Might it throw the election one way or the other just because – normally, except for the present period and except for the Ernest Bevin period, the late ’40s, when they turned against Israel and against the Jewish people, most of the Jewish vote has gone to Labor – not as heavily as the Democratic vote in this country, but most of it.  Might that – I mean, I can’t imagine those people voting Labor in a coming election. 

MR CARR:  So I’ll tell you, I haven’t seen polling, right, and – I mean, you want to get scientific, you have to do polling.  I haven’t seen polling.  I will say this, that the Jewish response in the United Kingdom to what has been going on in the Labor Party is, I think, quite admirable.  The three competing Jewish newspapers of London published a joint editorial, a front-page editorial with – signed by the three editorial boards.  Unprecedented.  And the headline was, “United We Stand,” and in that editorial, they said what is going on in the Labor Party is a threat to the Jewish – the survival of the Jewish people in the United Kingdom.  For the Jewish community to come out that strong and say – and then they held a rally entitled, “Enough is Enough.”  So basically they said, “Enough is enough,” and I don’t think you would see the response that you’ve seen in the United Kingdom were it not for that reaction.   

What has that response been?  Theresa May made the fight against anti-Semitism a central feature of her campaign.  Prime Minister Johnson has made it a central feature of his.  There’s a civil war in the Labor Party.  I spoke in the House of Lords – that same day, after I spoke in the House of Lords, three Labor lords resigned from the Labor Party, not because of anything I said but because they said, “We can’t abide what’s going on.”  So there is a real struggle.  And let me say, there are very – there are fine members of the Labor Party.  I’ve met with them, and they’re incredibly distressed.   

And so I think that struggle is very healthy, because all of us – all of us of good will everywhere in the world, if we see anti-Semitism in our midst, we’ve got to fight it.  We’ve got to call it out.  We’ve got to say this is unacceptable.  And if we don’t, if we’re silent in the face of anti-Semitic venom, it will surely grow.  Malignant tumors don’t ever shrink, they only grow.  And so if we’re silent in the face of anti-Semitism, we will in effect be condoning it.  And so my message across this great country and across the world is:  All people of good will have got to stand up and fight.  And we fight this fight not only for the Jewish people, like I said before, but for our countries and our world.  It’s for our children and our grandchildren that we fight this fight.  What kind of world do they – do we want them to inherit?  And it’s for them that we fight this fight, and it’s for them that we have to win it.  Thank you so much. 

QUESTION:  Well, one more, and it’s a quick one, if you don’t mind.  

MR CARR:  Your call. 

MODERATOR:  Yeah, if you have two more minutes. 

MR CARR:  Fine.  

QUESTION:  Is Kelly Craft here today, and have you met her? 

MR CARR:  Kelly Craft.  Is she here today?  

MODERATOR:  She is in the building, is my understanding.  

MR CARR:  I just walked into the building, so — 

QUESTION:  No meetings with her, no?  

MR CARR:  No, not today.   

QUESTION:  Okay. 

MODERATOR:  I stand corrected.  It’s – I’ll have to get to (inaudible). 

MR CARR:  Yeah, yeah. 

QUESTION:  Okay, sure, thanks. 

MR CARR:  Thanks.  

MODERATOR:  And that concludes today’s briefing.  It was on the record, and appreciate you coming.  Thank you very much for your time, and that’s it.   

U.S. Department of State

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