Sun. May 19th, 2024

Bipartisan group of lawmakers to introduce bill targeting antisemitism

By 37ci3 Apr10,2024

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of lawmakers is trying to address concerns among American Jews about it antisemitism is on the rise Six months after Hamas’s deadly October 7 surprise attack on Israel and Israel’s occupation of Gaza.

A group led by Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., aims to combat discrimination by creating a special position within the group that introduced the Anti-Anti-Semitism Act on Wednesday. White House to advise the president and implement his coordinated strategy to combat the rise of anti-Semitism, according to the text of the law, which was first shared with NBC News.

Rosen, the third Jewish woman and the first synagogue president to serve in the U.S. Senate, said, “Anti-Semitism has increased dramatically in the United States over the past few years, and has increased dramatically in the months since the horrific terrorist attack on Israel on October 7th.” said in the statement. “My bipartisan legislation would create the first-ever National Coordinator to Combat Anti-Semitism and take much-needed steps within the federal government to combat anti-Jewish hatred, bigotry, and violence in the United States.”

Also supporting the legislation are Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Rep. Kathy Manning, D-N.C.; Chris Smith, RN.J.; Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.; and Randy Weber, R-Texas; all co-chairs of the Anti-Semitism Task Force in their chambers.

Under the legislation, a national coordinator will help federal agencies implement the landmark plan, which includes more than 100 steps. strategy He was released by the White House last May. The coordinator will serve as the president’s principal adviser on domestic anti-Semitism and lead a new task force to coordinate the plan’s implementation across agencies.

The legislation would also require federal agencies to report to Congress detailing the strategy’s implementation, allowing watchdogs to identify and recommend new, better ways to combat the spread of antisemitism. including online.

It would specifically direct the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Counterterrorism Center to prepare an annual threat assessment of violent extremism targeting Jews.

And it would require the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ensure that the agency has sufficient resources and personnel to support places of worship, community centers and nonprofit organizations with physical security improvements through the Nonprofit Security Grant Program.

The bill would also officially designate May as “American Jewish Heritage Month” in federal law.

Ted Deutch, a former Democratic representative of Florida and now executive director of the American Jewish Committee, told NBC News that the legislation “sends a really important message” that threats to the Jewish community “are not acceptable, not to members of Congress, not to the American people.”

“This is a moment of great challenge for the Jewish community and there is great fear in the Jewish community. And it’s not an anecdote anymore,” Deutch said. “It’s something we’ve talked about before, we’ve felt it, but the data now confirms what we all know now that what used to be a simmering fire has now become a five-alert emergency. Anti-Semitism is at an all-time high. Jewish Americans are scared.”

Asked why the legislation should be aimed at combating anti-Jewish hatred rather than targeting other groups, such as Muslims, who have experienced a rise in Islamophobia since October 7, Deutch said, “This is a moment of hatred. sharply increases anti-Semitism.”

“Because we know that when we do that, when we address anti-Semitism, ultimately it’s not just Jews and the Jewish community that are safer,” he added. mass shootings The shooters in El Paso, Texas and Buffalo, New York expressed anti-Semitic and extremist beliefs.

Noting that anti-Semitism is centuries-old and a “unique form of hatred,” Deutch said, “If we are serious about fighting anti-Semitism, we will in turn take measures to ensure the general safety of society.”

Anti-Semitic incidents in the US reached record highs before the October 7 attacks last year. according to The Anti-Defamation League’s October 2023 annual report, which expects to release new data this month. The Jewish community in the United States is facing “historic levels” of anti-Semitism, the worst in a generation, the ADL said, citing its data.

The organization supported the new legislation and said in a statement that “the US government must implement policies and create the necessary infrastructure to combat anti-Semitism today and in the future; these efforts must extend beyond any Administration or 12-month timeline.”

The number of American adults who say there is “a lot” of discrimination against Jews in the United States has doubled in the past three years, from 20% to 40%. request Released last week from Pew Research. Nine out of 10 Jewish Americans say they feel discrimination is on the rise.

Including an increase in anti-Semitic incidents About three-quarters of Jewish college students say Last fall, they had encountered or observed anti-Semitism since the beginning of the school year anti-Jewish conspiracy theories and tropes prompted federal action shortly after the October 7 attack. The White House last year announced his new strategy to combat anti-Semitism on campuses, and Biden administration officials invited Jewish leaders to the White House in December to discuss the rise of anti-Semitism.

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