United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is leading bipartisan colleagues to urge the Senate to increase funding to combat antisemitism and strengthen the US-Israel relationship, her office announced on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, Gillibrand requested Senate appropriators provide $500 million to fully fund US-Israel missile defense cooperation. She also joined senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) in requesting that Senate appropriators support the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Holocaust Education programming as authorized under her bipartisan legislation, the Never Again Education Act, which was signed into law in 2020.
Now the New York Democrat is requesting an additional $2 million for the US-Israel Homeland Security Program and $6 million for the US-Israel cybersecurity cooperation grant program created through the US-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act via the FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act.
" I will always stand with, and fight for, the Jewish community.”Senator Gillibrand
“Our Jewish neighbors and community members should not feel threatened by antisemitism; such prejudice has no place in this country,” said Gillibrand. “It is important for all of us to commit to combating antisemitism here at home and across the globe, whether it’s condemning hateful rhetoric at the local level or working with our international counterparts on cybersecurity cooperation.
"Every single person deserves the right to live free from the threat of hate, and until that is reality, I will always stand with, and fight for, the Jewish community.”
2022 sees skyrocketing antisemitism
Gillibrand's appeal comes as her home state faces skyrocketing rates of hate crimes against Jews. Antisemitic attacks in New York City were up a startling 92% in March 2022 compared to the same month in 2021, according to data released by the New York City Police Department. A total of 23 hate crimes against Jews were reported in the city during March - 11 more than were reported the same month last year.
The senator, who has served New York since 2009, caused pro-Israel New Yorkers to raise their eyebrows when she voted for the nuclear deal with Iran in July 2015 and, in 2018, against the Taylor Force Act that takes away American funding from the Palestinian Authority until the PA stops paying stipends to terrorists and to the families of deceased terrorists.
She also sponsored, put her name on, and took her name off legislation against boycotting, divesting from and sanctioning Israel in 2017. At the time, she said her principal concern was that the bill could be read as targeting individuals who participate in the BDS movement.
A member of Gillibrand's press team told The Jerusalem Post the senator was not available for immediate comment.