Members of Congress introduce bill calling for coordinated federal efforts to counter antisemitism – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on April 11, 2024

A group of bipartisan, bicameral members of Congress will introduce the "Countering Antisemitism Act" on Wednesday, which aims to increase federal efforts from the White House to the Department of Education to tackle the rise in antisemitism across the country.

The bill is sponsored by the co-chairs of the Senate and House Bipartisan Task Forces for Combating Antisemitism Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and James Lankford (R-OK) along with Reps. Kathy Manning (D-NC), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Randy Weber (R-TX).

The bill will establish a National Coordinator to Counter Antisemitism within the White House who would serve as the president's principal adviser on countering domestic antisemitism and chair an interagency task force. The National Coordinator will also conduct an annual analysis of the spread of antisemitism online and provide recommendations to Congress on how to counter it.

Under the bill, the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and National Counterterrorism Center will have to jointly produce an annual threat assessment of antisemitic violent extremism.

The bill will also establish May as "Jewish American Heritage Month" in federal law.

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), who spearheaded the bill, said in a statement that since October 7 there have been countless disturbing stories of Jewish families accosted and assaulted on streets, Jewish businesses and places of worship vandalized and desecrated and Jewish students threatened at colleges and universities.

In the statement, American Jewish Committee Ted Deutch said an AJC report found 63% of American Jews feel the status of Jews is less secure than one year ago more than a 20 percentage point increase in just one year. One in four reported they were the target of an antisemitic incidenta physical attack, remark, vandalism, or messagingin 2023, and 46% reported changing their behavior out of fear of antisemitism in the past 12 months.

"My bipartisan legislation would establish a National Coordinator to Counter Antisemitism for the first time ever and take other much-needed steps across the federal government to fight anti-Jewish hatred, bigotry, and violence in the United States," Rosen said.

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) said the bill would work to combat antisemitism by establishing roles to provide transparent oversight, address Holocaust denials and distortions, counter discrimination on college campuses, and designate May as Jewish American Heritage Month.

Julie Platt, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federations of North America, said the Federation is proud to support the bill.

William Daroff, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said the bill is the largest legislative package ever considered to combat antisemitism.

"This legislation is a significant step in protecting American Jewry and combating the oldest of hatreds," Daroff said in the statement.

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Members of Congress introduce bill calling for coordinated federal efforts to counter antisemitism - The Jerusalem Post

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