Representatives Peter Roskam (R-IL), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Kay Granger (R-TX), and Marc Veasey (D-TX), the co-Chairs of the Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism, issued the following joint statement on a recent report by the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv indicating a sharp increase in anti-Semitism across Europe:
"We are gravely concerned by the staggering increase in anti-Semitism across Europe as documented in the recent report by the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University. It is inexcusable that Jews in Europe are living in fear of violence, harassment, and abuse in 2018 for no reason other than their faith. When widespread anti-Semitism goes unchecked in Europe, the results are heinous, sometimes even deadly, and we must redouble our efforts to reverse the trend of such bigotry.
"We therefore urge our Senate colleagues to pass H.R. 672, the Combating European Anti-Semitism Act, authored by Task Force Co-Chair Rep. Nita Lowey to require the State Department to document the security challenges of European Jewish communities, U.S. partnerships with European law enforcement agencies to counter anti-Semitism, and efforts by European governments to acknowledge, adopt and apply a working definition of anti-Semitism.
"Additionally, attacks on and threats to Jewish communities globally are why it is urgent for the Administration to immediately appoint a Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. Congress created and required this position through provisions of law authored by Task Force Co-Chair Rep. Chris Smith to provide a full view of the anti-Semitic challenges for Jewish communities abroad and to lead U.S. efforts to fight anti-Semitism. We call on the State Department to swiftly fill this position.
"We also urge the House to pass H.R. 1911, the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act, authored by Task Force Co-Chair Rep. Chris Smith to strengthen and elevate the Special Envoy position. The bill requires the position to be elevated to the rank of Ambassador and appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, report directly to the Secretary of State, be a person of recognized distinction in directly relevant fields, and to be exclusively dedicated to monitoring and combating anti-Semitism."