On April 22, 2010, The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) marked the first anniversary of the dedication of The Tom Lantos Archives on Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial. The event included statements about the Archives from MEMRI President Yigal Carmon and Katrina Lantos Swett, President of The Tom Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice, who moderated the event with Annette Lantos Tillemann-Dick. In addition to the daughters of Congressman Lantos, Mrs. Annette Lantos, Foundation Chairman and the late Congressman's widow, was also in attendance.
The Tom Lantos Archives on Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial, which represent a collaborative effort between the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice and MEMRI, are the repository of MEMRI's Anti-Semitism Documentation Project. These archives document anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in every form of media throughout the Middle East and in Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan and more. The project also focuses on those brave individuals in the Arab and Muslim world who courageously speak out against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.
The following announcement presents highlights from the dedication of the archives last year and from the celebration of its first anniversary, including excerpts from speeches by officials from the administration of President Obama, by the congressional leadership, by representatives from the U.S. State Department, from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and by other dignitaries.
Katrina Lantos Swett
Annette Lantos Tillemann-Dick
Vice President Biden's Statement on Inauguration of Archives
The Archives were formally launched April 22, 2009 on Capitol Hill, with an official statement of support from Vice President Joseph Biden. He said: "The Tom Lantos Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial Archives will help future generations understand why we confront injustice, why we defend human rights, and why we honor all that Tom Lantos stood for… I think it fair to say, Tom would have been proud to be associated with an archive that not only documents past injustices, but acts as a tool to help prevent future intolerance."
Congressional Leadership at Dedication
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and MEMRI President Yigal Carmon
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH), House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Anh "Joseph" Cao (R-LA), and Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS), among others, spoke with reverence for Congressman Lantos and noted the importance of MEMRI's work.
Speaker Pelosi stated, "Tom Lantos's effort was respected throughout the world, and that's why I'm so pleased that these archives will recognize his special work in that regard."
Leader Hoyer followed Speaker Pelosi, saying, "How appropriate it is to honor the archives and Tom Lantos by joining them together. The archives are about remembrance, but more importantly they are about ensuring that in remembering we do not repeat the violence of the past."
Congressman Cantor concluded the event by stating, "I cannot think of a more fitting occasion on which to unveil the effort of the Lantos Foundation and the archives in connection with the work - the tremendous work that MEMRI does on behalf of peace, on behalf of justice, and on behalf of human rights."
Anniversary of Archives Commemorated With New Website & Blog
To mark the first anniversary of the dedication, on April 22, 2010 Members of Congress, officials from the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and other dignitaries met to follow up on last year's dedication. Those Members of Congress in attendance included Senator John Kerry, Reps. Frank Wolf, Eliot Engel, Henry Waxman, Dennis Kucinich, Brad Sherman and others. Also present were dignitaries from the United States, Hungary (the country of Congressman Lantos' birth), and the European Union. At the event, MEMRI released its first annual report on anti-Semitism and formally launched the following:
· THE TOM LANTOS ARCHIVES ON ANTISEMITISM & HOLOCAUST DENIAL (www.memri.org/TomLantosArchives)
· THE TOM LANTOS ARCHIVES ON ANTISEMITISM & HOLOCAUST DENIAL BLOG (www.memri.org/TomLantosArchives/Blog)
Sen. John Kerry's Statement on the Archives
Sen. John Kerry
Highlights from this year's event included remarks by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Rep. Brad Sherman, Chairman of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.
Prior to the event, Sen. Kerry submitted a letter about the Archives, stating, "These remarkable archives document anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in all of its horrific manifestations in political, educational, cultural and religious spheres. These are the largest archives in the world of translated material on anti-Semitism from the past decade and have become the preeminent source of information on the global upsurge in anti-Semitism and on the promotion of anti-Semitic incitement by radical forces worldwide. The outstanding scope of MEMRI's research and translations has made these archives a primary resource for policymakers and researchers. Through the combined efforts of MEMRI and the Lantos Foundation, the Lantos Archives have become an effective tool for combating anti-Semitism."
During the event, Sen. Kerry said, "I have never met a child two years old who hates anybody. It is taught. That is one of the great things we need to prevent from happening… In 2002, you may remember Tom hosted an event where they raised awareness about MEMRI's translation of a 41-part television series that was based on all of the worst stereotypes of the Jewish people…It is a marvelous initiative [the Archives]…MEMRI is to be commended for its continued efforts."
Yigal Carmon and Sen. John Kerry
Rep. Brad Sherman's Statement on the Archives
Rep. Brad Sherman and Mrs. Annette Lantos
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), a long-time supportive voice for MEMRI, stated, "The Lantos Archives will serve as a repository, along with the other materials collected by and translated by MEMRI from so many different languages, from Arabic and Farsi, from Urdu and Pashtu, from so many languages, and the work that MEMRI does to translate these materials and make sure that Americans are aware of what's being said around the world is so important. I don't have to tell you that this work remains important, and I look forward to working with MEMRI and the Foundation on these Archives, working on the commission."
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's Statement on the Archives
Along with Reps. Berman (D-CA), McGovern (D-MA), Wolf (R-VA), Pence (R-IN) and Klein (D-FL), Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, issued a Dear Colleague to the House of Representatives on April 20, 2010 regarding the Archives. It stated in part, "These remarkable archives document anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in every form of media throughout the Middle East and in all of its manifestations in political, educational, cultural and religious spheres. These are the largest archives in the world of translated Arabic and Farsi material on anti-Semitism from the past decade and have become an important source of information on the global upsurge in anti-Semitism and on the promotion of anti-Semitic incitement by radical Islamic forces worldwide. The Lantos Archives have become an effective tool in fighting anti-Semitism, and is one way that the Lantos Foundation fights anti-Semitism and holocaust denial wherever it is found."
Rep. Ros-Lehtinen's submitted statement, which was distributed at the dedication, said: "A year has passed since many of us gathered for a formal dedication of the Lantos Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial Archive, and their efforts are as important and relevant as ever. The Archive documents anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in the Middle East and focuses on those in the Muslim and Arab world who bravely fight against anti-Semitism. This is an important and extraordinary effort to continue the fight against hatred and anti-Semitism, a fight which Tom Lantos so tenaciously fought throughout his life… I would like to thank everyone involved in the Lantos Foundation and MEMRI for their work and for carrying on Tom's legacy and continuing his important fight."
The U.S. State Department's Written Statement on the Archives
Representing the U.S. State Department, Kay Mayfield, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, spoke at last year's dedication.
On behalf of the Archives, U.S. State Department Special Envoy on Anti-Semitism Hannah Rosenthal wrote a letter praising Tom Lantos' legacy, the Archives, and MEMRI's work on anti-Semitism. Her position was created in part through legislation introduced by Rep. Lantos in 2004.
Ms. Rosenthal wrote, "The Middle East Media Research Institute joining in the effort to establish the Lantos Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial Archives helps to bring the news and attitudes of hatred to us so we can work together to stop it. The anti-Semitic incitement and programming translations by MEMRI are critical to the work of not only the Archives, but to my work every day in the State Department."
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum at Anniversary of Archives
Dr. Michael Grunberger, Director of Collections at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, spoke about anti-Semitism and its presence in the Middle East. In a written statement, at the dedication of the Archives, Director of The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Sarah Bloomfield, expressed her support stating: "No problem can be solved that is not first understood. The first steps to understanding are documentation and study. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum applauds the creation of this important archive and looks forward to working with the Lantos Foundation and Archive as well as MEMRI towards our common goal of confronting anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred wherever they may be. This is the most powerful way to honor the memory of the six million."
MEMRI Board Member Elie Wiesel on the Archives
MEMRI Board Member and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, who is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, and the Medal of Liberty Award, wrote a statement to be read at the event. It stated, in part: "Tom and I were friends and allies. His gentle yet powerful voice was heard wherever persecuted and oppressed individuals or people needed to be defended… The Tom Lantos Archives on Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial are of huge importance, and I bless MEMRI and the Tom Lantos Foundation for Human Rights for their dedication to this important endeavor."
Archives' First Annual Video Compilation Released & Screened
Video clips from the MEMRI TV Project showing the importance of and need for the Archives were shown for the standing-room only audience. A 10-minute compilation was screened during the event and a 40-minute DVD was distributed to those in attendance.
Free Video Compilation Download of the First Year Review of the Tom Lantos Archives on Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial
MEMRI has set up a page where the First Year Review of the Tom Lantos Archives on Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial video may be viewed: http://www.memri.org/lantos/. The short compilation can be downloaded and posted to your YouTube profile page, shared to your favorite social networking sites, and sent to your friends.
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Post the First Year Review of the Tom Lantos Archives on Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial to Your YouTube Page
You can download and post the video of the First Year Review of the Tom Lantos Archives on Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial video to your YouTube page as follows:
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Archives Include Antisemitic Cartoons from the Middle East Media
Cartoons from the Middle East media are posted daily in the Archives. The following are some recent examples.
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View Photos from This Year's and Last Year's Event on Flickr