Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and 125 of her congressional colleagues are calling on President Biden to develop a whole-of-government approach to monitor and combat antisemitism. This bipartisan, bicameral push follows the release of the Anti-Defamation League’s 2021 audit on antisemitic incidents in the United States, which found that antisemitism in the U.S. is at an all-time high with 2,717 reported incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism. According to the same report, in 2021, New York had the highest number of reported antisemitic incidents in the United States, with incidents increasing by 24% from 2020 to 2021. The letter notes that closer interagency cooperation is needed to execute a unified national strategy, identify gaps in efforts, and share best practices, data, and intelligence.
“As members of the House and Senate Bipartisan Task Forces for Combating Antisemitism, we write to urge you to ensure leaders working within your Administration are working together to execute a unified national strategy to monitor and combat antisemitism,” wrote the lawmakers. “With Jewish communities worldwide facing increasing discrimination, as well as threats and acts violence, we believe a whole-of-government approach is needed to effectively address the scourge of antisemitism.”
“We welcome the measures the Administration has taken thus far to address antisemitism. However, combating a growing threat of this magnitude, particularly here at home, requires a strategic, whole-of-government approach,” continued the senators. “Because many individual agencies play a critical role in combating antisemitism, closer coordination is needed to share best practices, data, and intelligence; identify gaps in efforts; streamline overlapping activities and roles; and execute a unified national strategy.”
The Jewish community remains the top target of faith-based hate crimes in the U.S. for the 24th consecutive year, and Senator Gillibrand will continue to prioritize the safety of religious communities throughout New York State. In June, Senator Gillibrand and a strong coalition of bipartisan colleagues requested $1.5 million to improve the safety and security of at-risk Jewish communities, ensure foreign public officials condemn antisemitic discourse, strengthen foreign judicial systems in their prosecution of antisemitic incidents, and promote Holocaust education. In January, Senator Gillibrand requested that the Senate Appropriations Committee adequately fund the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP), which supports nonprofit organizations most at risk of attack through the acquisition and installation of physical target hardening measures, related preparedness and prevention planning, training, and exercises, and contracted security personnel.
This letter is led by Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and joined by Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and Representatives Kathy Manning (D-NC) and Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-chairs of the Senate and House Bipartisan Task Forces for Combating Antisemitism.
The full letter can be found here.