Today, U.S. Reps. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Nita Lowey (NY-17), Eliot Engel (NY-16), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Kay Granger (TX-12), Steve Israel (NY-03), Peter Roskam (IL-06), and Ted Deutch (FL-21) announced the launch of the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism in the House of Representatives. Together, these Members will serve as co-Chairs of the Taskforce in the 114th Congress and spearhead initiatives aimed at addressing the alarming rise of anti-Semitism around the world.
The Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism was formed in order to ensure that Congress plays an integral role in condemning anti-Semitism and promoting tolerance worldwide.
The Taskforce will serve as a forum for educating Members on this distinct form of intolerance and to engage with the Executive Branch, foreign leaders, and civil society organizations for the sharing of best practices and cooperating on solutions to rebuff this disturbing trend. It will also promote Holocaust Remembrance in concert with exploring innovative ways to teach tolerance and confront hate.
The co-Chairs issued the following joint statement:
"Around the world, we are witnessing an alarming rise of anti-Semitism that is dangerous and complex. Over the past few years, Jewish schools, synagogues, and even homes and property have been targets of anti-Semitic violence. Jewish populations are facing increased levels of hatred, frequently under the guise of political differences or other alibis, but in reality it is solely because of their faith. It is the responsibility of everyone who believes in basic universal liberties and freedoms to condemn this trend and work together to root out the hatred which underlies anti-Semitism. We look forward to working with our colleagues in Congress to find innovative solutions that match the 21st century face of this age-old bigotry."