Coalition Urges Congressional Leadership to Pass Legislation Combating Antisemitism
Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First, in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and a coalition of local and national organizations, today called on congressional leadership to pass two pieces of legislation combating antisemitism abroad before the end of this session of Congress. In a letter to Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the organizations urged passage of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act (S. 1292/H.R. 1911) and the Combating European Anti-Semitism Act (S. 198/H.R. 672). The former would mandate appointment of a special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, a position that has remained vacant for nearly two years, and the latter would improve the State Department’s focus on trends in antisemitism in Europe.
“Antisemitism poses a grave threat to human rights and democracy. In recent years, we have seen hatemongers become more and more brazen in their attempts to intimidate and marginalize Jewish communities, both at home and abroad. American leadership is essential to countering this rising wave of hate, and in that effort the special envoy is vital,” said Ira Forman, senior advisor for combating antisemitism at Human Rights First.
To date, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has failed to take action on either bill, despite both being referred to the body in 2017. The House unanimously approved the Combating European Anti-Semitism Act, and approved the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act by a vote of 393 to 2.