|06BRUSSELS2538||2006-07-20 07:44:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Brussels|
VZCZCXYZ0005 RR RUEHWEB DE RUEHBS #2538 2010744 ZNR UUUUU ZZH R 200744Z JUL 06 FM AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2632 INFO RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0196
UNCLAS BRUSSELS 002538
1. Dr. Gregg Rickman, the DoS Special Envoy to Monitor and
Combat anti-Semitism, made an introductory visit to Brussels.
Rickman participated in the Parliamentary Assembly of the
Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCEPA).
He lobbied in support of a draft resolution principally
sponsored by Senator George Voinovich. The resolution titled
"Funding for Positions of Advisors in the Tolerance and
non-Discrimination Unit of the Office of Democratic
Institutions and Human Rights" adopted by a large margin with
opposition votes from only three MPs; from Switzerland,
Russia and Lichtenstein.
2. While in Brussels Rickman met with several members of the
Jewish community, NGO leaders, Belgian government officials,
and EU representatives all working to combat anti-Semitism.
A wide range of views were present in Belgian Jewish society.
Rickman met leaders of the three Jewish organizations that
collectively represent Belgian Jewry, including Julien
Klener, Director of the Central Jewish Consistoire of
Belgium, Kouky Frohman from the Antwerp community, and
Philippe Markiewicz, leader of the secular Jewish community.
Although all agree physical assaults are on the decline, the
increase in cyber-racism is cause for concern. The talks
yielded a positive view of Belgium's approach to anti-Semitic
acts, with strict enforcement of its hate crime legislation.
Together they agreed while both monitoring and combating
anti-Semitism are equally important, the former is much more
easily done that the latter.