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December 21, 2022 2:52 pm

House Resolution Aims to Counter ‘Alarming Spike’ in Antisemitism in US, Rep. Gottheimer Declares


avatar by Andrew Bernard

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) addressing a Hanukkah menorah lighting in Wyckoff, New Jersey. Photo: Reuters/Kyle Mazza/Sipa USA

Antisemitism in the United States has undergone an “enormous and alarming spike,” the co-sponsor of a congressional resolution that condemns antisemitism by public figures told The Algemeiner on Tuesday.

“Clearly we’ve seen an enormous and alarming spike in antisemitism, hate speech and threats,” Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) said. “It’s not a new issue, but we’ve seen a huge surge in recent years.”

Introduced on Dec. 15, the text of the resolution cites data on antisemitic outrages gathered by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), noting that there were “2,717 acts of assault, vandalism, and harassment in the year 2021 alone, an average of more than 7 incidents per day, which represents a 34-percent increase from 2020 and the highest year on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979.”

The spiraling statistics have been accompanied by a number of high-profile scandals involving antisemitism, most recently the dinner during Thanksgiving week hosted by former President Donald Trump for the antisemitic hip hop mogul Kanye West, who was accompanied by Nick Fuentes, a notorious neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier. During the same month, NBA star Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets was widely condemned for promoting an antisemitic documentary.

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“You’ve seen a surge in comments from public officials and of course celebrities in these most recent months, and I think that has a significant impact on antisemitism and public opinion and young people,” Gottheimer said. “On the celebrities point, you see them spewing antisemitic filth and Nazism and praising of Hitler. I think it’s very clear that this resolution condemns this vile behavior and stresses just how dangerous it is when this hatred and these ideas are promoted.”

The bipartisan resolution, which has 85 co-sponsors, has been welcomed by US Jewish groups including the ADL, the Orthodox Union Advocacy League, and the Jewish Federations of North America.

“We are in the midst of a perfect storm of rising antisemitism, in the United States and around the world,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “It is more important than ever for members of Congress to reach across the aisle and speak out against this trend on a bipartisan basis.”

Gottheimer also discussed his co-sponsorship of the REGIME Act, which calls on the Secretary of State to revoke US entry visas for members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), members of the Iranian executive, judiciary, and legislature, and other Iranian officials engaged in suppressing the Iranian people, as well as their family members.

“The bottom line is Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terror,” Gottheimer told The Algemeiner. “And its paramilitary terror arm, the IRGC, have directly or through proxies like Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, killed hundreds of Americans and attacked our bases in the region. So a member of the Iranian regime can’t be trusted, nor should they be living the high life in the US while oppressing their own people in Iran.”

Follow Algemeiner Washington Correspondent Andrew Bernard on Twitter @AndrewJBernie

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