Sen. Ben Cardin named anti-Semitism watchdog for OSCE

Marcy Oster

WASHINGTON (JTA) – U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin was named the special representative on anti-Semitism and intolerance for the 57-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly.

Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the senior Democratic senator on the U.S. Helsinki Commission, was tapped on Monday for the newly created position, which aims to raise awareness about prejudice and discrimination, including anti-Semitism and race-based intolerance.

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“No longer content to simmer below the surface, the recent heinous attacks in Paris and Copenhagen have demonstrated the severity and pervasiveness of anti-Semitism and prejudice in the world today,” Cardin said in a statement, adding, “I have long fought to shine a spotlight on such activity and supported efforts to address the root causes fueling hate crimes and other forms of discrimination.”

Cardin will report to OSCE’s 325-member Parliamentary Assembly on the records of the participating states and advise the assembly on how best to protect individuals and communities. The OSCE was created by the United Nations charter.