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October 11, 2016 7:43 am

Bipartisan Bill Seeks to Bolster US Cooperation With Europe to Combat Antisemitism

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An anti-Semitic protester in Berlin with a pro-Nazi tattoo on his arm. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

An antisemitic protester in Berlin with a pro-Nazi tattoo on his arm. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation last week that seeks to bolster the US government’s monitoring and combating of antisemitic incidents in Europe.

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 the phenomenon.

The bill, which builds on previous legislation passed in 2015, calls for the “continued and enhanced reporting on antisemitic incidents in Europe, safety and security of European Jewish Communities, and the efforts of the United States to partner with European entities to combat antisemitism.”

“It’s shocking that in the 21st century, antisemitism 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 antisemitic voices and messages, such as leaders in Hungary giving a prestigious state award to antisemitic 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.”

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