Taskforce Anti-Semitism Bill Passes House

May 18, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — The Co-Chairs of the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism welcomed the unanimous passage in the House of Representatives of the Combating European Anti-Semitism Act of 2017 (H.R. 672), which calls for continued and enhanced reporting on anti-Semitism in Europe from the U.S. government.

“It’s shocking that in the 21st century, anti-Semitism is gaining strength within our borders and across Europe. Effectively confronting this problem requires a better understanding of its scope and depth,” the Co-Chairs of the Taskforce said. “This bill would require the U.S. government—and encourage our global partners—to continue to take a hard look at anti-Semitism in Europe, provide a thorough assessment of trends, and outline what the United States and our partners are doing to meet this challenge. We’re glad to see this bill pass the House unanimously, and hope our colleagues in the Senate work quickly to get this to the President’s desk.”

The legislation builds upon the annual reporting on religious freedom worldwide as required by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 and the 2004 Global Anti-Semitism Review Act, which required the State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism to annually report on anti-Semitism around the world.

This bill specifically calls for continued and enhanced reporting on:

  • Anti-Semitism in Europe, including physical attacks on and security threats to Jewish communities;
  • Efforts of the U.S. government to partner with European institutions to share information and best practices on combating anti-Semitism; and
  • Attempts by European governments to adopt and apply a working definition of anti-Semitism similar to the one used by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

The bill also expresses the views of Congress that:

  • Combating anti-Semitism at home and abroad is in our national interest;
  • It is critical to ensure the safety of European Jewish communities; and

Multilateral institutions, like the UN and the OSCE, have an important role to play in combating anti-Semitism.

The Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism includes U.S. Representatives Peter J. 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).