The annual Lantos Rule of Law Lecture, established to offer perspective on Rule of Law issues and what can be done to bring productive change, will take place Monday, December 10th at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC.
Welcoming Harold Hongju Koh, Sterling Professor of International Law, Yale Law School in conversation with Eliot Cohen, Vice Dean for Education and Academic Affairs, Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Learn more about Harold Koh's book, The Trump Administration and International Law, here : https://tinyurl.com/y8dxwh3a
Learn more about the Lecture and Register here : https://tinyurl.com/y7y3m3xn
"I can’t help but feel that Lantos would be saddened to see the dire situation facing Hong Kong in the aftermath of the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement in which I and so many others participated."
“Documents show the court has denied his request to travel to the United States to receive the Lantos prize, an award from an American foundation honoring former House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Tom Lantos. Prior recipients of the prize include Hillary Clinton, the Dalai Lama, and Elie Wiesel. Wong, whose activist work was the subject of a 2017 Netflix documentary, would have accepted the award in Washington next month had he been able to travel.”
In May of 2017, the Lantos Foundation joined with past Religious Freedom Ambassadors and Special Envoys on anti-Semitism in urging the Trump administration to move quickly to nominate qualified candidates for these important posts. A year and a half later, the post of Special Envoy to Combat anti-Semitism remains unfilled in the Trump administration.
During the past 18 months the need for American leadership in confronting anti-Semitism has only become more acute. From the disturbing efforts in Poland to criminalize honest discussion about the Holocaust, to the murder of French Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll in Paris, the news is filled with grim reminders of the growing strength of anti-Semitism globally. And just a few days ago, 11 innocent worshipers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh PA, were massacred by a homegrown Nazi.
Now more than ever, it is urgent that the Trump administration demonstrate its determination to confront this evil wherever it rears its ugly head. One important step in this regard is the appointment of the Special Envoy to Combat anti-Semitism with no further delay.
The Lantos Foundation is encouraged by news reports suggesting that an individual will be named to this position in the coming days. We will continue to monitor developments and urge the administration to not only name a Special Envoy, but to make the fight against anti-Semitism and racism a priority both at home and abroad.
When I first heard the shocking news about the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, I immediately thought of my late father, Tom Lantos. He came to the United States as a young teenager after surviving the horrors of the Holocaust in his native Hungary. He had a deep and abiding love for America, a land of freedom that opened its doors to this young persecuted immigrant, and offered him a second chance at life. Dad went on to serve his beloved adopted country as the only Holocaust survivor ever elected to Congress. He was one of our nation’s most powerful advocates for human rights and justice.
I found myself wishing that Dad were still alive to lend his uniquely eloquent voice to our public discussion about this tragic event and the dangerous vein of violent anti-Semitism it has exposed. Then, upon further reflection, I realized that he had already left behind words that can absolutely help all of us through this difficult time.
My father’s most memorable quote is, “The veneer of civilization is paper thin. We are its guardians, and we can never rest.” These wise words reflect the sober reality that the freedom, tolerance, security, and rule of law that are the hallmarks of a civilized society can never be taken for granted. This is something my father understood from the sorrows of his own lived experiences. His words also make it clear that the responsibility for defending our sacred civilization rests with each of us. That is a bracing, but also empowering thought; one that we must take to heart. This moment is a challenge to each of us, but I know we can and must be equal to it.
Despite the suffering of his early life that gave my father a clear-eyed view of the world and the evil that exists in it, he somehow remained a man of profound optimism. Whenever I faced personal setbacks or despaired over a crisis in the life of our nation, he would say in his elegant Hungarian accent, “Don’t worry darling, we are just bending a windy corner of history and right around this corner are bright blue skies and wonderful possibilities.” If he could believe that after all he had experienced, then surely we can too.
Like all of us, my father would have been heartbroken and horrified by the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue. He would have mourned and honored the slain, condemned the hatred and evil that took their lives, and then he would have gotten right back to work guarding our shared civilization. That is exactly what I intend to do.
Katrina Lantos Swett
Today, The Newsmakers featured Lantos Foundation President, Katrina Lantos Swett in a panel broadcast on the recent dramatic release of Pastor Andrew Brunson from Turkish detention.
Joined by former US diplomat and White House official Matthew Bryza, former Turkish Ambassador to the US Faruk Logoglu, and political analyst and author Onur Erim, Katrina discussed Pastor Brunson's release and the degradation of rule of law in Turkey.