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Rubio, Kaine Introduce Legislation to Combat Anti-Semitism in Europe

Nov 17, 2016 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tim Kaine (D-VA), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today introduced the Combatting European Anti-Semitism Act, legislation addressing the growing issue of anti-Semitism across Europe. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is an original cosponsor.                                                                                  

“I am deeply concerned with the recent harassment and violence seen across Europe against Jews in schools and synagogues, as well as certain governments amplifying anti-Semitic messages,” said Rubio. “America must prioritize working with European governments to combat this insidious global phenomenon. This bipartisan legislation will ensure the State Department has the information it needs to assess and understand the challenges so that we might combat European anti-Semitism in all its forms.”‎

“I am alarmed by the steady increase in anti-Semitism we’re witnessing in America and Europe. We must be vigilant in reporting any incidents of anti-Semitism to ensure the safety, security and inalienable rights of Jewish communities,” said Kaine. “This legislation will help the State Department and Europeans work together to combat anti-Semitism and protect religious freedom for Jews and society at large.”

The bipartisan bill requires enhanced reporting to Congress in the State Department’s Annual Report on International Religious Freedom anti-Semitic incidents in Europe. It also directs the State Department to include information on the security challenges and needs of European Jewish communities, efforts by the U.S. government to partner with European governments, law enforcement and civil society to combat anti-Semitism, and efforts by European governments to adopt a working definition of anti-Semitism.

This bill was introduced in the House (H.R. 6208) by the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combatting Anti-Semitism: Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Kay Granger (R-TX), Steve Israel (D-NY), Peter Roskam (R-IL), and Ted Deutch (D-FL) earlier last month.