Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Kay Granger (R-TX), Steve Israel (D-NY), Peter Roskam (R-IL), and Ted Deutch (D-FL), the co-chairs of the House of Representatives Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism, introduced legislation aimed at shining a light on the growing problem of anti-Semitism in Europe. Upon introducing the Combating European Anti-Semitism Act of 2016 (H.R. 6208), the co-chairs issued the following joint statement:
"It's shocking that in the 21st century, anti-Semitism is gaining strength across Europe. From taunts and threats on the street; to violent attacks in schools and synagogues; to governments amplifying anti-Semitic voices and messages, such as leaders in Hungary giving a prestigious State award to anti-Semitic writer Zsolt Bayer, many European Jews are being forced to reconsider whether there is still a future for them in their countries. This is unacceptable, and we will continue to call on leaders across Europe to speak out against this growing problem, strengthen partnerships with Jewish communities to help them develop safety standards, and foster cultures that respect diversity and inclusion of all minority groups, including Jews.
"Effectively confronting this problem requires a better understanding of its scope and depth. This bill would require the Administration to continue taking a hard look at anti-Semitism in Europe, providing a thorough assessment of trends and outlining what the United States and our partners are doing to meet this challenge. That way, we'll have the best information available as we work to root out this pernicious threat and ensure that the commitment "never again' remains a reality.
Building on a resolution regarding the safety and security of Jewish communities in Europe (H.Res.354) that passed the House in November 418-0, this bill calls for continued and enhanced reporting on anti-Semitic incidents in Europe, safety and security of European Jewish Communities, and the efforts of the United States to partner with European entities to combat anti-Semitism.
All eight co-chairs are original cosponsors of this legislation: 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).