Flowers and other items have been left as memorials outside the Tree of Life synagogue following last Saturday's shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, November 3, 2018.
(photo credit: ALAN FREED/REUTERS)
The United States Senate has passed two resolutions on Thursday against antisemitism, one unanimously condemning “all forms of antisemitism.”
The Bipartisan Cruz-Kaine Resolution, which was put forward by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Tim Kaine ((D-Virgina), was described by Cruz as “what should hopefully be a simple, but crucially important matter for the Senate.”
In his speech to the Senate, he said that the aim was “to issue an unequivocal, direct, and clear condemnation of all forms of antisemitism. Unfortunately, we’re living in an era where the need for a strong and clear condemnation of antisemitism has become acute.”
“In the United States, Jews have suffered from systematic discrimination in the form of exclusion from home ownership in certain neighborhoods, prohibition from staying in certain hotels, restrictions upon membership in private clubs and other associations, limitations upon admission to certain educational institutions, and other barriers to equal justice under the law,” Cruz said.
“This is a shameful legacy and it makes it all the more incumbent that we as a Senate, speak in one voice and stand resolved that the United States condemns and commits to combating all forms of antisemitism,” he added.
Cruz went on to say, “We are in the midst of a wave of antisemitism seen both here in the United States and all over the world.”
He explained that over the last few years, there have been repeated antisemitic comments made publicly, “including insinuations questioning the loyalty and the patriotism of American Jews,” as well as “physical violence against Jews, including shootings in Jewish places of worship such as the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and the Chabad in Poway.”
In October of last year, 11 worshipers were murdered and six wounded when gunman Robert Gregory Bowers opened fire at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. Six months later, on April 27, gunman John Earnest walked into the foyer of the Chabad of Poway Synagogue in San Diego and opened fire on congregants, killing one person and wounding three others.
During his address, Cruz also referred to The New York Times
stopping political cartoons in its international edition, because it was “criticized and forced to apologize for recently running a blatantly antisemitic cartoon.”
According to Cruz, this resolution was also prompted “unfortunately by the inability of the House of Representatives to come together and vote on a resolution straightforwardly and directly condemning antisemitism.”
Also addressing the Senate, Kaine highlighted that as he speaks “we are seeing an uptick in hate crimes against Jewish communities.”
“We have to acknowledge that antisemitism is real, it’s dangerous, and it’s growing,” he emphasized, adding that those in leadership positions “need to stand up against it, and I’m grateful that Sen. Cruz reached out to work together on this bipartisan effort.”
“I’m proud the Senate came together to unanimously pass our resolution that shows we will do everything in our power to combat this rise in antisemitism,” Kaine said
In a related matter, a second Senate resolution, put forward by US Democratic Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein calling for the recent antisemitic attack on worshipers at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue to be condemned as antisemitism, was also passed.
The resolution was introduced to the Senate in May by Harris and Feinstein.
Speaking after it was passed, Harris said she was glad her colleagues in the Senate had come together “to send a message that acts of hate will not be tolerated.”
“We as a nation must continue to honor those who were killed and injured in this horrific attack, speak out against white nationalism and white supremacy, and continue to work together to build a country that is inclusive of all,” she said.
Feinstein added that this resolution “makes clear that hate and antisemitism have no place in America. The combination of hate and easy access to firearms has cost too many lives, and it is well past time for action.”
She stressed that “as we see a rise in hate crimes in this country, we must do more than just remember the victims of this tragedy.”
“We must do all we can to make sure it does not happen again,” she said.
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