December 10, 2019

Senate Unanimously Passes Bipartisan Resolution Denouncing Anti-Semitism

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution on Thursday that denounced anti-Semitism in each of its manifestations, according to a press release on Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Tex.) website.

Cruz, who co-sponsored the resolution along with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), said on the floor of the Senate Thursday, “We are in the midst of a wave of anti-Semitism seen both here in the United States and all over the world. In just the last few years, we have seen repeated anti-Semitic comments made publicly, including insinuations questioning the loyalty and the patriotism of American Jews. We’ve seen physical violence against Jews, including shootings in Jewish places of worship such as the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and the Chabad in Poway. We’ve seen a wave of physical attacks against Jews in the streets of New York. And we have seen the growth on our college campuses of movements to aggressively boycott products made by Jews in Israel. And as we’ve learned this week, things have gotten so bad that The New York Times has announced it will simply stop running political cartoons in their International edition after being criticized and forced to apologize for recently running a blatantly anti-Semitic cartoon.”

Cruz criticized the House of Representatives’ March resolution for watering down anti-Semitism as just another form of bigotry.

“There’s of course nothing wrong with condemning bigotry and hatred in general,” Cruz said. “But anti-Semitism is a unique prejudice, with a unique history, that has led to unique horrors throughout history. Jews today are the most targeted religious group in the United States for hate crimes, according to the data compiled by the FBI. We need to be able to acknowledge that clearly and directly and that’s what this resolution does.”

The Texas senator proceeded to highlight the various forms of anti-Semitism that the resolution denounces, including boycotts against Jewish businesses, dual loyalty tropes and violent acts against Jews. But Cruz wanted to especially focus the portion of the resolution stating that “Jews have suffered from systematic discrimination in the form of exclusion from home ownership in certain neighborhoods, prohibition from staying in certain hotels, restrictions upon membership in private clubs and other associations, limitations upon admission to certain educational institutions, and other barriers to equal justice under the law” in the United States.

“This is a shameful legacy and it makes it all the more incumbent that we as a Senate, speak in one voice and stand resolved that the United States condemns and commits to combating all forms of anti-Semitism,” Cruz said.

Kaine said in a statement, “Right now, we are seeing an uptick in hate crimes against Jewish communities. We have to acknowledge that anti-Semitism is real, it’s dangerous, and it’s growing. Those of us in leadership positions need to stand up against it, and I’m grateful that Senator Cruz reached out to work together on this bipartisan effort. I’m proud the Senate came together to unanimously pass our resolution that shows we will do everything in our power to combat this rise in anti-Semitism.”

The Anti-Defamation League thanked Cruz and Kaine in a tweet.

Senior Vice President for Public Policy & Director of The Jewish Federations of North America’s Washington D.C. office William Daroff said in a statement, “By calling out the long history of discrimination & acts of hatred directed against the Jewish people, the Senate has taken a concrete step towards standing up for our community and fighting the scourge of anti-Semitism.”

The resolution, which was first introduced on May 2, had 56 co-sponsors. Fourteen of those co-sponsors were Democrats.

Another resolution was passed Thursday condemning the shooting at Chabad of Poway in April that resulted in the murder of Lori Gilberty-Kaye at the age of 60. Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) spearheaded the resolution.