House Releases Full Text of Anti-Semitism Resolution

March 7, 2019
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), flanked by Representative Joaquin Castro (D-TX) (L) and House Democrats hold a news conference about their proposed resolution to terminate U.S. President Trump’s Emergency Declaration on the southern border with Mexico, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 25, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The full text of a resolution condemning anti-Semitism was publicly released on March 7. A vote is scheduled for some time later today.

The seven-page resolution begins by “condemning anti-Semitism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values and aspirations that define the people of the United States and condemning anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contrary to the values and aspirations of the United States.”

The resolution denounces “bigotry, discrimination, oppression, racism, and imputations of dual loyalty” as having “no place in American political discourse.” The resolution also singles out white supremacy and condemns the August 2017 neo-Nazi Charlottesville riots and the October 2018 Tree of Life synagogue shooting.

Anti-Semitism is defined in the resolution as “centuries old bigotry” that “includes blaming Jews as Jews when things go wrong; calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or extremist view of religion; or making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotyped allegations about Jews.” The resolution also notes that “Jewish people are subject in the media and political campaigns to numerous other dangerous anti-Semitic myths as well, including that Jews control the United States Government or seek global, political, and financial domination and that Jews are obsessed with money.”

On the issue of dual loyalty (a charge recently leveled at Jews by Rep. Ilhan Omar  (D-Minn), the resolution states, “accusing Jews of being more loyal to Israel or to the Jewish community than to the United States constitutes anti-Semitism because it suggests that Jewish citizens cannot be patriotic Americans and trusted neighbors, when Jews have loyally served our Nation every day since its founding.”

The resolution also condemns “anti-Muslim bigotry.”

Ron Klein, chairman of the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA), praised the resolution in a statement as a “strong denunciation of anti-Semitism. This resolution sends a strong message that anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism and other forms of bigotry are unacceptable and fundamentally anti-American,” Klein said. “Use of hateful or discriminatory rhetoric by members of Congress is contradictory to our values and must come to an end. While we accept legitimate political debate on Israel, such debate must exclude prejudicial attitudes, stereotypes and other forms of anti-Semitic tropes targeting Jews.”

Siamak Kordestani, American Jewish Committee Los Angeles’ assistant director for policy and communication, said in a statement sent to the Journal via email, “Although the circumstances creating this new resolution were far from ideal, AJC supports the current draft. The resolution firstly rejects the idea that support for the U.S.-Israel relationship implies dual loyalty and foreign allegiance, which are dangerous tropes.”

However, Simon Wiesenthal Center Founder and Dean Rabbi Marvin Hier criticized the statement for not specifically condemning Omar for questioning Israel supporters’ “allegiance to a foreign country” and that AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) buys political support for Israel.

“It’s a big stew: Jews are mentioned in the resolution, African-Americans are mentioned, Muslims are mentioned, everybody’s mentioned, but missing is the meat,” Hier told the Journal in a phone interview. “Where is this Congresswoman Omar, who said these terrible things? By ducking the main issue, I think the resolution gives a free pass to bigots and anti-Semites.”

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