More than 90 House representatives call on mayors to take ‘urgent action to combat anti-Semitism’

More than 90 members of the House of Representatives are calling on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to take urgent action to stem anti-Semitic incidents, which hit a record high last year in the United States.

In a letter dictated by Reps. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and Andrew Garbarino, RN.Y., members of Congress called on Mayorkas to press on President Joe Biden to prioritize the establishment of “an inter-agency strategy to overcome the threat of anti-Semitism”.

Such a strategy, the group said, should include a whole-of-government approach to “address the growing problem of domestic anti-Semitism.”

“We must ensure that our federal, state and local agencies communicate with each other and have the education, training and resources necessary to deal with this threat,” they write.

“We need to ensure that every facet of our government engages with local community partners on the front lines. And we need to ensure that DHS and all of its interagency partners prioritize this issue and tackle it with the urgency and coordination it deserves.”

The letter, according to The Hill, comes amid the publication of an audit conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which cited more than 2,700 cases of vandalism, harassment and assault against Jewish people. in the United States in 2021.

The level of violence marked a 34% increase from 2020, the highest number in a year since 1979, when anti-Semitic incidences began to be tracked by the ADL.

The House last month passed a measure condemning rising anti-Semitism in a vote of 420 to 1. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., was the only member of Congress to vote against the resolution. Massie wrote in a tweet that it “promotes Internet censorship and 1st Amendment violations”.

But in their letter to Mayorkas, the lawmakers asked that “appropriate representatives” of U.S. government departments, spanning justice, state, education, labor and defense, “be included in discussion”.

“Only by working together,” they add, “across all branches and levels of government, across our country and throughout our society, can we address the many facets of anti-Semitism. and ensuring the safety and security of American Jewry.

“Hate in all its forms is destructive and if left unaddressed, risks fraying the fabric of our nation. We must continue to speak out and confront anti-Semitism head-on, whenever and wherever it occurs. manifests.”

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