Bipartisan task force relaunched to fight anti-Semitism in wake of attacks

Congress fights mounting wave of anti-Semitic attacks in the US. 

The US House of Representatives announced on Monday its re-launching of a bipartisan task force for combating anti-Semitism in the wake of recent waves of anti-Jewish incidents.

Since January, some 90 bomb threats have been called into Jewish organizations in five waves, the latest occurring on Monday.

Similarly, two Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia and St. Louis were vandalized and desecrated.

According to the latest FBI statistics, the number of anti-Semitic criminal offenses rose from 635 in 2014 to 695 in 2015.

The task force includes Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Kay Granger (R-TX), Marc Veasey (D-TX), and Peter Roskam (R-IL).

“At home and abroad, we continue to witness anti-Semitism that is both dangerous and complex. The recent desecration of Jewish grave sites and bomb threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and Jewish day schools across the country are deplorable. And overseas, the anti-Semitic threats, vandalism, and violence aimed at Jewish schools, synagogues, kosher supermarkets, homes and property are unacceptable,” the task force said in a joint statement.

“In light of recent events, it is more important than ever that Democrats and Republicans work together to root out hatred and racism in all its ugly forms. We look forward to working with our colleagues in Congress to find innovative solutions that match the 21st century face of this ancient bigotry,” the statement said.

With over 100 Republican and Democrat members, the task force works to ensure Congress plays an integral role in condemning anti-Semitism and spearheading initiatives that promote tolerance worldwide.

Following a bomb threat made against the Jewish Community Center (JCC) on the Hudson in Tarrytown on Monday, Lowey stated that her office has been in contact with local police and the FBI to offer all necessary support to the investigation and to, “bring the criminals responsible for this horrifying act of terrorism to justice.”

“We will not allow hatred, bigotry, or anti-Semitic violence to terrorize our families or our community,” she declared.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News