House passes resolution condemning rising antisemitism

The US House of Representatives passed a resolution on Wednesday condemning the rise of antisemitism. 420 members voted for it, one voted against: Thomas Massie (R-KY).

 A protestor carries a white supremacist and antisemitic sign outside the Kenosha County Courthouse on the second day of jury deliberations in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, US, November 17, 2021.  (photo credit: REUTERS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN)
A protestor carries a white supremacist and antisemitic sign outside the Kenosha County Courthouse on the second day of jury deliberations in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, US, November 17, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/EVELYN HOCKSTEIN)

WASHINGTON — The US House of Representatives passed a resolution on Wednesday condemning the rise of antisemitism. An overwhelming majority, 420 members, supported the resolution and only one, Thomas Massie (R-KY), voted against it.

“Over the course of the past decade, Holocaust distortion and denial has grown in intensity,” the resolution reads. “There is a documented and dangerous rise of antisemitism globally and in the United States, where Jews are increasingly affected by the grotesque spread of misinformation and lies including blame for the spread of COVID–19, false claims including control of the media and the financial system, accusations of dual loyalty, and a multitude of negative stereotypes.”

The resolution also notes that according to the FBI, Jews were the target of 55% of all religiously motivated hate crimes in 2020, despite accounting for less than 2% of the US population.

“A 2020 survey of all 50 States in the United States on Holocaust knowledge among Millennials and Gen Z found a clear lack of awareness of key historical facts,” the text reads. It said “63% of respondents did not know that 6,000,000 Jews were murdered during the Holocaust and 36% thought that “two million or fewer Jews” were killed.”

The resolution calls on elected officials, faith leaders, and civil society leaders “to use their bully pulpit to condemn and combat any and all manifestations of antisemitism,” and calls on elected officials “to condemn and combat any and all denials and distortions of the Holocaust and to promote Holocaust and antisemitism education.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (credit: Wikimedia Commons)Rep. Thomas Massie (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

It is also calling for “amplifying and ensuring United States leadership to fight global antisemitism, working with the State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism and intensifying cooperation with international governments and parliaments around the world.”

The resolution calls on social media platforms “to institute stronger and more significant efforts to measure and address online antisemitism while protecting free speech concerns.”

The resolution also calls for all possible steps to be taken to improve the physical security of Jewish institutions and organizations, “including by using existing tools such as increasing funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program of the Department of Homeland Security to keep at-risk houses of worship, schools, and community centers safe from terrorist attacks and other forms of antisemitic violence.”

The text supports the right of Americans “to freely exercise their religious beliefs and rejects all forms of terror and hate.” It calls for measures to ensure the safety, security, and dignity of American Jews in all aspects of their lives, including the workplace, college and university campuses, synagogues, and at home.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer delivered a speech on the House floor, saying that tragically, “too many Americans need to hear the loud voice of their Congress calling out antisemitism and condemning it because too many of our fellow citizens are hearing leaders they support and trust give voice to antisemitism and many of its centuries-old tropes.”

Israel’s ambassador to the US, Mike Herzog, tweeted in response: “In the face of rising antisemitism, I’m encouraged to see the House’s bipartisan vote on a resolution condemning antisemitism. It’s an important call to action for American leaders to combat all forms of antisemitism and allow Jews to practice their faith freely and openly.”