U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement regarding comments by Howard Gutman, U.S. Ambassador to Belgium, attributing the presence of some anti-Semitism to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and actions by the Israeli government:
"Explaining away anti-Semitism as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the actions of the Israeli government undermines the fight to combat global anti-Semitism.
"Furthermore, the Ambassador's comments fail to recognize that Israel has made sacrifices for peace time and again, while Palestinian leaders refuse even to recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.
"Creating artificial classes and distinctions for hatred comes too close to supplying justification for senseless aggression. Having seen time and again the threats of unchecked prejudice, we must continue to condemn and counter anti-Semitism worldwide without caveats or excuses."