May 27, 2021
GOP introduces act to stop antisemitism
With the rise of antisemitism in the United States, Senate and House Republicans join together to introduce the Preventing Antisemitic Hate Crimes Act.
“Amidst the Israel-Gaza conflict, we have witnessed an unacceptable surge in antisemitic incidents, including violent attacks, across the country,” the cochairs of the task force, four Republicans and four Democrats, wrote.
“From New York to Los Angeles, hateful individuals have targeted the Jewish community because of their faith and identity,” they added.
“As a task force, we will not stand by while our fellow Americans are subjected to physical, verbal, and online abuse. We are committed to combating antisemitism in all its forms, and we urge our colleagues and all Americans to help us eradicate antisemitism from our country, and for law enforcement to prosecute these despicable acts to the fullest extent of the law.”
Senate and House Republicans joined together on Tuesday to introduce the Preventing Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes Act. Congressman David Kustoff (Tennessee), House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (California), Sen. Tom Cotton (Arizona), and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) led the bill.
“This legislation will help combat the drastic surge of antisemitic incidents and violence in the United States by ensuring the Department of Justice facilitates the expedited review of these hate crime threats against the Jewish community,” they said. “Additionally, this bill states the attorney-general will issue guidance to enhance our state and local law enforcement’s efforts to prevent and respond to antisemitic hate crimes.”
“Antisemitism has no place in the United States. The Department of Justice must take immediate, decisive action to stop the shocking rise of hate crimes targeting the American Jewish community. Our bill will ensure the racist criminals committing these crimes are prosecuted and held accountable,” said Cotton.
“The uptick in hateful antisemitic attacks is disgusting and totally unacceptable. From anti-Israel efforts like the BDS movement to violent crimes on American streets, we must confront antisemitism every single place it rears its ugly head,” said McConnell. “Our legislation will support state and local law enforcement and ensure the bigoted thugs and criminals who are attacking Jewish Americans face the full force of American justice.”
Another group of 15 Senate Republicans introduced a resolution condemning hatred and violence against Jews, and denouncing anti-Israel rhetoric.
The resolution is “expressing the sense of the Senate that acts of violence against Jewish people in the United States and around the world and the poisonous rhetoric from politicians and others promoted by the media that has helped inspire such violence is condemnable and has no place in society.”
“Antisemitism is a unique prejudice with a unique history, which has resulted in unique horrors throughout history,” said Sen. Ted Cruz. “This wave of abhorrent violence is directed at Jews for being Jewish, just like Hamas is firing rockets into Israel because they want to murder Jews and eliminate the Jewish state,” he added.
“The horrific spike in antisemitic violence and crimes in the United States and around the world serves as a reminder that hateful rhetoric and lies can quickly turn into violence,” said Sen. Marco Rubio. “We must be very clear that this ancient evil has no place in our society, and ensure America’s Jewish communities are protected.”
On Wednesday, four House Democrats sent a letter to US President Joe Biden, saying they are “deeply disturbed by the recent surge of antisemitic incidents in the United States.” Rep. Josh Gottheimer led the letter.
“Over the past few weeks, we have witnessed a surge in antisemitic incidents in the United States, including attacks on Jewish Americans in New York, California and Florida,” the lawmakers wrote.
“It is undeniable that this increase in antisemitic incidents has coincided with recent conflict in the Middle East,” they added. “It must be made clear that there is simply no excuse whatsoever for harassing or targeting people because they are Jewish. Blaming Jews for conflict in the Middle East or seeking to hold them collectively responsible for Israel’s government policies is antisemitic, and it is wrong.
“Given that Jews in Europe and around the world have faced a similar increase in threats in recent weeks coinciding with the conflict, we also urge you to swiftly nominate an experienced and qualified United States ambassador-at-large to monitor and combat antisemitism,” they added.