In 2013, the United States Department of State released remarks regarding global trends in anti-semitism. A little over three years later this epidemic has not yet lost momentum. As a community, it is imperative for us to know and remember what these trends have been in order for us to combat them:

Unfortunately, anti-Semitism is not history — it is news. More than six decades after the end of the Second World War, anti-Semitism is alive and well. Centuries-old stereotypes and myths are conflated with current events to inject new life into the stale prejudices of the past. In many cases, myths and misinformation about Israel were indoctrinated into the minds of people by authoritarian regimes desperately seeking a pretext to remain in power. The myths and misinformation have outlived the regimes that propagated them. Undoing the damage that has been done doubtless will be the work of generations. But the enormity of the task only underscores its urgency.

Not only has there been anti-semitic rhetoric amongst the populous, it has often been inspired and encouraged by state authorities:

“Old fashioned” anti-Semitism is instilling fear where there should be freedom and draining Jewish communities of resources they can ill afford. We are all too familiar with ongoing hostile acts such as the defacing of property and the desecration of cemeteries with anti-Semitic graffiti. Old slanders are recycled, such as when a Hungarian Member of Parliament from the Jobbik party recently made reference to a long-discredited accusation of blood libel from 1882.

Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez during his last campaign used government-sponsored media outlets to publish anti-Semitic articles as a means of attacking his opponent’s Jewish ancestry.

Conspiracy theories continue to flourish in the Middle East. These include supposed Jewish control of the U.S. media and the world banking system, and claims that Jews were involved in executing the September 11 attacks.

This new wave of anti-Semitic speech from world leaders has lead to violence against Jewish communities around the world. They’ve had no other choice but to take on the extra burden of securing themselves as lies have continued to be spread about them:

Last summer, Iranian Vice President Rahimi at an anti-drug conference blamed the Talmud for the spread of illegal drugs. In France, the Jewish Community Security Service has called 2012 “a year of unprecedented violence against Jews.” In the United Kingdom, the Community Security Trust reported 2012 to be “the third worst year on record.” In our own country, almost two-thirds of hate crimes committed each year on the basis of religion or belief are committed against Jews. Even the smallest Jewish communities, such as the 1000 Jews of Melilla — a Spanish enclave on the North African coast — are forced to spend a disproportionate amount of their budgets on maintaining their members’ physical security.

Those communities cannot but believe their fear is justified when they go to their parliament and see their representatives reading aloud “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”– as a Golden Dawn Member of Parliament did in Greece last year. Or when they hear their politicians call for a list of Jews to be collected because they pose a “security risk” to their home country — as a representative of Jobbik did in Hungary recently. Or when they turn on the TV and hear their president praying for the destruction of the Jewish homeland or calling Jews descendants of apes and pigs — as happened in Egypt. They cannot feel safe when they hear their people accused of crimes they could never have committed, when Iranian officials blamed Jews for the massacre of Muslims in Burma.

Although in recent years there has been a tangible rise in anti-Semetic-influenced action and rhetoric, there has also been a number of steps taken to squash these sentiments, and to see that previous wrongs are corrected:

I don’t want you to think that the picture is all bleak. There has been good news as well as bad. Last year, the Norwegian government publicly apologized for the role of Norwegian authorities in deporting Jews during World War II. The Belgian Senate passed a resolution in January recognizing the role of Belgian authorities in the Holocaust and indicating a desire to include Holocaust education in Belgium’s curricula. Last October, Ukraine celebrated the opening of the Menorah Jewish Community Center and Holocaust Museum. Here at the Department of State, we have hosted multiple events, including commemorating the survivors of the MS St. Louis. This past January, our International Holocaust Memorial Day program paid tribute to victims of the “Holocaust by Bullets,” which took place in Eastern Europe during World War II – a horror with which I became familiar during my tour of duty in Belarus.

The hope of seeing a world free of anti-Semitism may seem like a distant dream for our community and for those who support us. However, it is in our effort and endurance that we shed light on injustice and inspire those around us to take action to stop global anti-Semitism. It is our responsibility to involved ourselves in ways that challenge the status quo, and to ensure our children do not endure what we and those before us have:

Where there is hatred born of ignorance, we must teach and inspire. Where there is hatred born of blindness, we must expose people to a larger world of ideas. We must reach out, especially to youth, so they can see beyond their immediate circumstances. Where there is hatred whipped up by irresponsible leaders, we must call them out and answer as strongly as we can – and make their message totally unacceptable to all people of conscience.

2013 has come and gone but unfortunately, anti-Semitism has not. It is time for us all to do our part to end this global epidemic. Do your part by encouraging your state Congressman to vote in favor of the current Anti-Semitism Awareness Act that is currently up for vote in the U.S. House of Representatives by clicking here

To read the State Department release in its entirety, click here