House passes bill to promote antisemitism envoy to ambassador

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) administers the oath of office to House members and delegates of the U.S. House of Representatives at the start of the 116th Congress inside the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 3, 2019 (photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)

The bill was introduced by New Jersey Rep. Christopher H. Smith to promote more awareness to the rise in antisemitism across the globe.


A bill that would elevate the US State Department’s Special Envoy to Combat Antisemitism position to an ambassadorship will head to US President Donald Trump’s desk where he will have the ability to sign the legislation into law, after the US House of Representatives passed the bill on Friday.The bill was introduced by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ, 4th District) to build more awareness of the rise in antisemitism across the globe.

Smith authored portions of the original provisions of the Global Antisemitism Review Act of 2004, where the original envoy position was first mentioned.“My new law will raise the Special Envoy to the rank of Ambassador, and enable him or her to report directly to the Secretary of State,” said Smith. “That will give the Special Envoy more seniority and diplomatic access – both inside the US Government and when engaging foreign governments – that is needed to do the job effectively.”“We’ve seen a rapid rise in antisemitic acts and rhetoric in many countries over the past decade: Jews harassed, assaulted and even murdered; synagogues attacked; graves and cemeteries desecrated; antisemitic slurs; and targeting the State of Israel with what my friend, the great Soviet refusenik and religious prisoner Natan Sharansky, calls the ‘three Ds’– demonization, double-standard, and delegitimization,” Smith noted.Jewish organizations lauded the decision of the House to pass the bill on to Trump.“The Jewish community is very grateful for Congress’s passage of this important legislation. Sadly, we have seen a surge of antisemitic incidents around the world in recent years,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for Public Policy at the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations.

“With the passage of this legislation, the Senate is providing powerful new tools to the State Department to lead impactful international efforts to combat what has been aptly called ‘the world’s oldest form of hatred’ and roll back the tide of anti-Jewish hate,” he said.“We welcome the unanimous passage of bipartisan legislation by the US House of Representatives that would elevate the designation of the Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism to ambassador-level, providing it with additional prominence and visibility,” said Arthur Stark, chairman, William Daroff, CEO, and Malcolm Hoenlein, vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.“This post, created in 2004, plays a critically important part in the global fight against the increasingly urgent threat of antisemitism around the world,” they said.“The enhancing of this position would represent further recognition by the US government of the critical importance of having an official representative to lead in combating the scourge of Jew-hatred.”“Today’s vote puts America one step closer to sending an unambiguous message to the world: the United States does not and will not tolerate antisemitism,” said national president Rhoda Smolow and CEO/executive director Janice Weinman of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc.“Passing this bill is a fitting conclusion to a historic 116th Congress, which also took unprecedented action to strengthen Holocaust education in the United States by passing the Never Again Education Act,” they added. “These two bills were major priorities for Hadassah’s nearly 300,000 members nationwide. We attribute the robust bipartisan support for these priorities to their relentless advocacy.”


Be the first to comment

Deja un comentario