In response to the surge in antisemitic incidents in recent months, the United States Senate passed a bipartisan resolution last week condemning this pernicious form of hatred. Introduced by Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Senator James Lankford (R-OK), co-founders and co-chairs of the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism, the resolution was co-sponsored by nearly three-quarters of the Senate and was backed by numerous organizations. The effort sends a clear signal that there should be zero tolerance for antisemitism, while underlining the urgent need to address this rise in hate.
Taking action against antisemitism
The bipartisan resolution recommitted the Senate to combating antisemitism in all forms, voiced solidarity with those affected by antisemitism, urged President Biden to take specific actions to address antisemitism, and called on elected officials, faith leaders, and civil society leaders to denounce and combat all manifestations of antisemitism.
“As antisemitism surges in the United States and around the world, we must do all that we can to put a stop to these hateful actions,” said Senator Rosen. “We, as Members of Congress, along with faith and community leaders have a responsibility to speak out and take action against antisemitism and other forms of hate for the safety of our neighbors, our friends, and our loved ones. I am glad that the Senate passed this bipartisan resolution that Senator Lankford and I introduced, which in addition to condemning recent acts of antisemitism, also calls on the President to nominate a qualified Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, fully implement the Never Again Education Act to advance accurate Holocaust education, and request sufficient funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. Tonight, the Senate spoke out in one voice to condemn recent acts of antisemitism and to recommit to preventing future antisemitic violence and harassment.”
Important recent US Congressional activity addressing antisemitism
This bipartisan resolution contributes to a broader series of efforts to counter the worrying trend of rising antisemitism. In 2019 Senator Rosen, the third female Jewish Senator in US history, and Senator Lankford launched the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism to collaborate with law enforcement, federal agencies, state and local government, educators, advocates, clergy, and other stakeholders to combat antisemitism by educating and empowering our communities.
This was followed by the passing of a bipartisan resolution, introduced in January 2020 by Senators Rosen, Lankford, Cardin (D-MD), Cramer (R-ND), and Menendez (D-NJ), commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp by Allied Forces during the Second World War.
In May 2020, the Never Again Education Act was signed into law. The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Senator Rosen, established a dedicated federal fund through the US Holocaust Memorial Museum to provide teachers with the resources and training necessary to teach students the important lessons of the Holocaust.
Senators Rosen and Lankford then led 22 of their Senate colleagues on 20 April 2021, in a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to expeditiously nominate a qualified Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism to confront the rising level of antisemitism worldwide.
On 21 May 2021 Senators Rosen and Lankford, and Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Chris Smith (R-NJ), two founding co-chairs of the House Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism, released a statement condemning the surge in antisemitic incidents in the United States and around the world.
More information on the resolution and other initiatives to counter antisemitism by the US Congress can be found on Senator Rosen's website.