KIEV, Ukraine — Ira Forman, the Obama administration’s special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, canceled his attendance at a landmark conference in Kiev because of the U.S. government shutdown, according to a conference organizer.
Forman was scheduled to be the opening speaker Tuesday at the two-day conference marking the 100th anniversary of the Beilis blood libel trial, based on an anti-Semitic blood libel that czarist Russian authorities fabricated in Kiev.
Menachem Mendel Beilis was acquitted of allegations that he murdered a Christian to use his blood for worship. His trial, often compared with that of Alfred Dreyfus in France, generated intense interest by international media and
served as a catalyst for Jewish emigration out of Europe, according to historians.