January 24, 2017

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

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tim Kaine (D-VA), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today reintroduced the Combating European Anti-Semitism Act, legislation that addresses the growing problem of anti-Semitism across Europe. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Bob Menendez (D-NJ),  David Perdue (R-GA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), John Boozman (R-AR), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), James Lankford (R-OK), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) are cosponsors.

“The recent harassment and violence occurring throughout Europe against Jews in schools and synagogues, as well as a number of governments amplifying anti-Semitic messages, are profoundly concerning,” said Rubio. “We must work with European governments to combat this evil global phenomenon. This bipartisan legislation will ensure the State Department has the information it needs to assess and understand the challenges so that we can combat European anti-Semitism in all its forms.”

“I continue to be alarmed by the steady increase in anti-Semitism 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 new Administration and Europeans work together to combat anti-Semitism and protect religious freedom for Jews and society at large.”

The bipartisan legislation requires the State Department's annual International Religious Freedom report to include enhanced reporting on incidents of anti-Semitism 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) last Congress 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).