Antisemitism Awareness Act of 2023

Floor Speech

Date: May 1, 2024
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. COHEN. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my chairman, and I also found the remarks that were directed at you to be reprehensible. I know you and I know your commitment to fair play and the First Amendment.

However, I have questions about this bill, and that is why I am here to listen to the debate. I don't know if Mr. Lawler wishes to respond, but there is another bill, Representative Manning and Representative Smith's bill. It is bipartisan. It has, I think, 15 Members of each party on it. I have been trying to get on it, but they are doing this crazy balancing act that eliminates certain people.

I yield to Mr. Lawler to ask if he would support H.R. 7921 and work with Mr. Smith to get that brought to the floor.


Mr. COHEN. Mr. Speaker, reclaiming my time. I thank the gentleman. I appreciate his support for that, I think it is very important. I think it is a more inclusive bill, a broader bill. It takes in not just the problems at the universities but also takes on problems in the communities at large.

There has been anti-Semitism for over 2,000 years. The Jews have a homeland. Before they had a homeland, they didn't have that sense of security anyplace where they were. It has been threatened so many times and so many places over the years, and it should not be taken from them.

I was concerned, and Mr. Nadler made the point, that in 2017 in Charlottesville there were national socialist movements, Vanguard America groups, traditional workers parties, Klan members, all kind of rightwing anti-Semitic crowds, racist skinheads that were in Charlottesville. They marched around saying: ``Jews will not replace us.''


Mr. COHEN. President Trump said there are good people on both sides. Well, there are good people on both sides in Columbia, but there were not good people on both sides in Charlottesville.

That anti-Semitism needs to be addressed and has not been addressed by my friends on the other side, although Mr. Smith has addressed it and there are others, so I don't want to paint a broad brush. There have been so many instances in history that have come not from these Palestinian supporters, but from skinheads, Neo-Nazis, and Klansmen, and that needs to be addressed. I think Mr. Smith's and Ms. Manning's bill addresses it. I hope that comes to the floor and we do a comprehensive attack on anti-Semitism.