Resolution Condemning Rising Antisemitism in Europe Passes Senate by Unanimous Vote
A resolution condemning antisemitism in Europe passed the U.S. Senate by unanimous vote on Thursday.
The resolution, authored by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and co-sponsored by 60 other senators encouraged “greater cooperation with the European governments, in the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in preventing and responding to antisemitism.”
“In light of the rise of antisemitism in Europe, this resolution calls on European governments to not only stand against antisemitism, but to work to end it,” said Sen. Menendez, applauding the unanimous passage of the bill.
Major Jewish human rights group the Anti-Defamation League meanwhile hailed the resolution and the condemnation of European antisemitism.
“The resolution condemning antisemitism represents the voice of the American people as expressed through the unanimous vote in the United States Senate in support of Jewish communities in Europe who are reeling from a tragic surge of antisemitism and antisemitic violence,” said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman.
“The U.S. government is unique in its commitment to addressing global antisemitism as a matter of foreign policy. The resolution reinforces that commitment by clearly providing the Senate’s guidance to the administration for action in specific areas which will help European governments and civil society do a better job of ensuring that Jews throughout Europe can express their Jewish identity without fear for their physical safety,” he said.
ADL National Chairman Barry Curtis-Lusher offered “special thanks” to “Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) who have so fervently rallied around combating antisemitism around the world.”
“The United States must work with the European Union and European governments to address the alarming rise of antisemitism in Europe and prevent future affronts to basic human rights and dignity. Increasing violence against Jewish individuals in Europe is evidence that our efforts to keep men and women of all faiths safe from violence must never stop,” said Kirk on Thursday.
The resolution was introduced in February, shortly after a deadly attack at the Kosher HyperCacher supermarket in Paris, as well as an attack at the main synagogue in Copenhagen, Denmark.
It calls attention to the “alarming increase in antisemitic attacks and incidents targeting Jewish institutions, places of worship, and individuals” that “continue to take place in Europe and remain a challenge to stability and security.”
It notes with alarm that twice as many French Jews immigrated to Israel in 2014 than the year before.
The resolution encourages regular meetings with European Jewish community leaders to monitor antisemitic trends and to hear concerns, and it calls for “European countries and the European Union to designate senior-level special envoys to monitor, prevent, and combat antisemitism regionally and domestically.”
The resolution was supported by the Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith International, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the Jewish Federations of North America and the Union for Reform Judaism.
Since the attacks in France and Denmark earlier this year, several governments in Europe, including France and the U.K., have pledged resources to combating the rise of continent-wide antisemitism.
Former British prime minister Tony Blair on Thursday was appointed to a pan-European body aimed at combating extremism and antisemitism.
Security was stepped up across France for Jewish community centers and synagogues, though recent reports indicated a scaling back of such efforts.