92 members of Congress urge DHS 'additional action to combat antisemitism'

“Members of the Jewish community have been attacked, and sometimes killed, simply for being Jewish,” the letter reads.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security emblem is pictured at the National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) located just outside Washington in Arlington, Virginia September 24, 2010. (photo credit: REUTERS)
U.S. Department of Homeland Security emblem is pictured at the National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) located just outside Washington in Arlington, Virginia September 24, 2010.
(photo credit: REUTERS)

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of 92 members of Congress sent a letter on Tuesday to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas urging “additional and urgent action to combat antisemitism and prosecute antisemitic hate crimes.” Ted Deutch (D-Florida), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pennsylvania), Brad Schneider (D-Illinois), and Andrew Garbarino (R-New York) led the letter.

“As members of Congress concerned about antisemitism in our country, we write to urge additional and urgent action to combat antisemitism and prosecute antisemitic hate crimes,” they wrote.

The members noted in their letter that in recent years, the American Jewish community has faced threats across the country, “increasing in incidence and severity.”

“Members of the Jewish community have been attacked, and sometimes killed, simply for being Jewish—from Pittsburgh to Poway, from Monsey to Jersey City, and from Lakewood to Colleyville,” the letter reads. They wrote that while they appreciate the work of DHS, “more can and must be done.”

“We urge you to exercise additional leadership on this issue, and we ask that you advise the President to prioritize the creation of an inter-agency strategy to overcome the threat of antisemitism—a threat that does not only jeopardize American Jews, but also undermines American values,” they wrote.

 Antisemitism is lurking and rising on online platforms. (credit: Courtesy) Antisemitism is lurking and rising on online platforms. (credit: Courtesy)

The amount of antisemitic incidents

“More than 2,700 reported antisemitic incidents throughout the US in 2021—the worst year for antisemitism ever recorded, with an average of over seven attacks per day,” they continued. “It is clear the American Jewish community is on high alert and for due cause.”

They asked Mayorkas “to advocate for a comprehensive, whole-of-government strategy” led by DHS, “to specifically address the growing problem of domestic antisemitism.”

“We must ensure our federal, state, and local agencies are communicating with one another and have the necessary education, training, and resources to confront this threat,” they wrote.

“We must ensure every facet of our government is engaging with local community partners on the front lines. And we must ensure DHS and all its inter-agency partners are prioritizing this issue and tackling it with the urgency and coordination it warrants.”

“Hate in all its forms is destructive and, unaddressed, risks fraying the fabric of our nation,” the letter reads. “We must continue to speak up and confront antisemitism head-on, whenever and wherever it arises.”