Bush signs anti-Semitism review act

President Bush signed the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004 [PDF] into law Saturday. The Act, signature of which was originally expected Thursday, creates an Anti-Semitism office within the State Department and mandates an annual review and report on anti-Semitism around the world, in much the same way that the Department already reports on human rights and religious freedom. Partly because of the existence of those reports and their mandates, State Department officials had objected to the new Act as creating a "bureaucratic nuisance" that would actually hinder the Department's ongoing investigations. In what could be construed as either a last-minute effort to avoid the Act's signature, or damage-control in the face of any suggestion that the Department was not concerned with the anti-Semitism problem, State issued a press release Friday declaring that it was "committed to combating anti-Semitism throughout the world and is proud of its many accomplishments. In addition to the annual International Religious Freedom and Human Rights Reports, which detail patterns and incidents of anti-Semitism world-wide, we have undertaken a number of specific and important actions to fight this scourge." JURIST's Paper Chase has background on the Act and objections to it here. Read the official White House press release here.

 

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