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Dec 16, 2020 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) applauded the Senate passage of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2019 (S.238, H.R. 221), a bipartisan and bicameral bill that would enhance the State Department’s role in combating and monitoring anti-Semitism around the world. The bill now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.

Senators Rubio and Gillibrand were joined by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) as original co-sponsors of the bill. U.S. Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) introduced the companion bill in the House of Representatives.

“Anti-Semitism, unfortunately, is on the rise and we must do all we can to combat this ancient evil,” Rubio said. “I welcome the passage of this important bipartisan bill that will ensure that the U.S. remains a leader in the fight against anti-Semitism worldwide. I commend my Senate colleagues for passing this legislation, and look forward to the House quickly passing it and sending it to the President to be signed into law.” 

“As we have seen far too often, anti-Semitism is surging in New York state, our country, and across the world,” Gillibrand said. “We must do everything in our power to confront, and end, this growing threat. I am proud that we were able to pass this bipartisan bill to elevate the position of special envoy to the rank of ambassador in order to ensure that the State Department can monitor and help combat anti-Semitism across the globe. I will always stand with the Jewish community, and fight against hatred and prejudice in all its forms.”

“Anti-Semitism continues to rise at an alarming rate across the globe. To equip the State Department to better address rising anti-Semitism, it is critical that we elevate the role of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism to Ambassador-at-Large,” Rosen said. “I am proud to see that this important bipartisan bill has passed the Senate and is one step closer to becoming law, ensuring that the United States remains a leader in combating anti-Semitism internationally and has the tools needed to track and respond to this growing scourge. I will continue working to put a stop to anti-Semitic hatred and bigotry, whether at home or abroad.”

“Congress has taken an important step today to ensure that our government can better fight rising antisemitism around the world,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director. “We thank Members of Congress for their leadership in bolstering the Office of the U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, and for doing so in such a commendable, bipartisan manner.”

“Congress recognized the need for a focused approach to address the resurgence of antisemitism when it created the position of the Special Envoy in 2004. Elevating the position to the rank of Ambassador, which this legislation does, will enable the U.S. to enhance our leadership addressing the scourge of antisemitism across the globe,” said Rabbi Andrew Baker, AJC Director of International Jewish Affairs.

The Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act will:

  • Elevate the position of special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism to the rank of ambassador;

  • Direct the special envoy to report directly to the secretary of state;

  • Prohibit the special envoy from being double-hatted with another portfolio of issues;

  • Emphasize that the special envoy should be a person of recognized distinction in the field of combating anti-Semitism or religious freedom; and

  • Clarify that the special envoy shall be the primary advisor and coordinator for U.S. government efforts to monitor and combat anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incitement in foreign countries.

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