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Letter to the Hon. Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, Chair of the European Parliament Working Group on Antisemitism - European Union Actions to Address Anti-Semitism

Dear Mr. Chairman,

As members of the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism in the U.S. House of Representatives, we applaud the European Parliament's passage of a working definition of anti-Semitism. We wish to congratulate you and your colleagues of the European Parliament Working Group on Antisemitism for your hard work in building support for this important resolution.

The frequency and scale of anti-Semitic incidents in both the United States and Europe over the past few years has been deeply alarming. From large-scale attacks, such as the 2012 assault on a Jewish school in Toulouse, to smaller but all too common incidents of harassment and vandalism, European Jewish communities often fear for their safety and deserve a strong message of support from their governments. This resolution, which includes a working definition of anti-Semitism adopted from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, encourages European Union (EU) Member States to monitor and prevent anti-Semitic violence and prosecute the perpetrators. It also sends a bold statement to those who foment hatred against Jews: European leaders are aware of the growing trends of anti-Semitism and refuse to tolerate it.

The resolution represents an important step in combating anti-Semitism, but more work remains to be done. Of all the states participating in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, only Austria, Romania, and the United Kingdom have formally adopted the definition. Following the recent passage of the working definition of anti-Semitism, we strongly encourage all EU-member national parliaments to formally adopt the definition and commit to greater action against anti-Semitism. Anti-Semites must understand that there is no place for anti-Jewish bigotry, and European Jewish communities must be reassured that their governments will do all they can to keep them safe.

Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the Combating European Anti-Semitism Act (H.R. 672), which would encourage greater coordination and partnerships between the United States and European countries to address anti-Semitism. This and other important initiatives for combating anti-Semitism, including efforts to integrate a working definition of anti-Semitism into various aspects of U.S. policy and practice, are top priorities for many members of Congress. We must continue to build on the momentum created by this bill's passage and the passage of the working definition. We look forward to working closely with the EU and individual member states in achieving the shared goal of protecting Jewish communities and combating anti-Semitism.


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