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February 28, 2017 10:27 am

Bipartisan Congressional Antisemitism Task Force Relaunches in Wake of Recent Incidents Across US

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The House of Representatives. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The House of Representatives. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – A bipartisan congressional task force for combating antisemitism has been relaunched following an uptick in anti-Jewish incidents across the US, the group announced Monday.

“At home and abroad, we continue to witness antisemitism that is both dangerous and complex,” the task force members said in a statement, citing the vandalization of Jewish graves and bomb threats targeting Jewish centers and schools in America, as well as the ongoing harassment and violence aimed at Jews around the world. “In light of recent events, it is more important than ever that Democrats and Republicans work together to root out hatred and racism in all its ugly forms. We look forward to working with our colleagues in Congress to find innovative solutions that match the 21st-century face of this ancient bigotry.”

According to the statement, the task force “serves as a forum for educating [House] members on this distinct form of intolerance and to engage with the Trump administration, foreign leaders and civil society organizations to share best practices and collaborate on solutions to rebuff this systemic problem.” The task force members will also work to promote Holocaust remembrance and explore innovative way for American politicians to confront and condemn   hate worldwide.

The task force is comprised of more than 100 Republicans and Democrats, and headed by Reps. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla), Ted Deutch (D-Fla), Kay Granger (R-Texas), Marc Veasey (D-Texas) and Peter Roskam (R-Ill).

Since January 2017, Jewish organizations across the US have received more than 90 bomb threats, including more than 60 to Jewish community centers (JCCs), with the latest wave coming yesterday.

Last week, an estimated 170 Jewish graves were found toppled at the Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery in University City, Mo., and on Sunday, an estimated 100 headstones were toppled at the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Philadelphia.

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