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Jewish groups laud bipartisan bill calling for national coordinator countering Jew-hatred 

The legislation would “take other much-needed steps across the federal government to fight anti-Jewish hatred, bigotry, and violence,” said Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.).

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) speaks at the Clark County Democratic Party's 2020 Kick Off to Caucus Gala at the Tropicana Las Vegas, Feb. 15, 2020. Credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.
Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) speaks at the Clark County Democratic Party's 2020 Kick Off to Caucus Gala at the Tropicana Las Vegas, Feb. 15, 2020. Credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.

Two senators and four congressmen, from both sides of the aisle, introduced legislation this week calling for the creation of a national coordinator to counter antisemitism who would run an interagency task force.

“Antisemitism has been dramatically rising in the United States in the last several years and skyrocketed in the months since the horrific Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel,” said Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), who introduced the Countering Antisemitism Act with Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and with Reps. Kathy Manning (D-N.C.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas).

“There have been countless disturbing stories of Jewish families accosted and assaulted on streets, Jewish businesses and places of worship vandalized and desecrated, and Jewish students threatened at colleges and universities,” Rosen stated.

“My bipartisan legislation would establish a national coordinator to counter antisemitism for the first time ever and take other much-needed steps across the federal government to fight anti-Jewish hatred, bigotry, and violence in the United States,” she added.

Smith, who penned the law that created the international special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, stated that “The national coordinator will oversee an interagency task force to counter antisemitism—with a responsibility to report to Congress—and the bill strongly states that the federal government should apply the IHRA definition of antisemitism.”

“Additionally, provisions on the Department of Education should help break through bottlenecks and roadblocks to countering antisemitic discrimination in higher education,” Smith said. “I’ll work hard to pass this bill—and then to conduct oversight to ensure that it’s correctly and vigorously implemented by the executive branch.”

The Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee praised the legislation, which would also require the FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security to report annually on antisemitic threats, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to study Holocaust education across public K-12 schools and designate May formally as Jewish American Heritage Month in federal law.

“The legislation introduced today is a critical step toward addressing antisemitism in the United States and around the world,” said Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress. “American leadership is essential in this fight, and I’m grateful for the bipartisanship that has led to this important moment.”

He added that “the waves of hate that Jews have faced since Oct. 7 is something I never thought I would see in my lifetime. This meaningful bill will reinforce those battling against this devastating form of hatred.”

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