(JNS.org) A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation last week that seeks to bolster the U.S. government’s monitoring on anti-Semitic incidents in Europe and how European governments are combating the issue.
Reps. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Steve Israel (D-NY), Ted Deutch (D-FL) joined by Republicans Chris Smith (R-NJ), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Kay Granger (R-Texas) and Peter Roskam (R-IL), the co-chairs of the U.S. House of Representatives bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism, introduced the Combating European Anti-Semitism Act of 2016 to tackle the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe.
The bill, which builds on previous legislation passed in 2015 calling on greater U.S. cooperation with Europe on anti-Semitism, asks for the “continued and enhanced reporting on anti-Semitic incidents in Europe, safety and security of European Jewish Communities, and the efforts of the United States to partner with European entities to combat anti-Semitism.”
“It’s shocking that in the 21st century, anti-Semitism is gaining strength across Europe,” the taskforce co-chairs said in a statement. “From taunts and threats on the street, to violent attacks in schools and synagogues, to governments amplifying anti-Semitic voices and messages, such as leaders in Hungary giving a prestigious state award to anti-Semitic writer Zsolt Bayer, many European Jews are being forced to reconsider whether there is still a future for them in their countries.
“This is unacceptable, and we will continue to call on leaders across Europe to speak out against this growing problem, strengthen partnerships with Jewish communities to help them develop safety standards, and foster cultures that respect diversity and inclusion of all minority groups, including Jews.”