Condemning Hate

Risch introduces resolution focusing on international antisemitism

The senior Republican’s resolution condemns the BDS movement and anti-Israel activism as fueling antisemitism

Lance Cheung

Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) in the USDA Forest Service Headquarters, Yates Building Fire Desk, on Sept 26, 2017.

Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a resolution on Thursday condemning global antisemitism, stressing incidents of antisemitism outside the United States and accusing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and anti-Israel activists of fueling antisemitism around the world. 

“While anti-Semitism is on a rise across the world, the recent violence between Israel and Hamas has led to an increase in attacks against Jewish communities,” Risch said in a statement. “This violence is further fueled by support here in the United States for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), a global Palestinian-led effort to promote boycotts, divestments, and economic sanctions against Israel. The BDS movement is dangerous and contributes to the rise of anti-Semitism.”

The resolution notes “a particularly high rate of antisemitic attacks” in Europe, and enumerates a series of incidents around the world, including an assault on Rabbi Rafi Goodwin in London; pro-Palestinian protests in Canada that have involved antisemitic slurs and violence against pro-Israel protesters; protests in Spain that featured Israeli flags defaced with swastikas; threats and attacks on Jewish organizations in Germany; and vandalism of a Jewish community building in Argentina.

The resolution condemns the BDS movement and ties anti-Israel sentiment to growing antisemitism globally.

“The rise of anti-Israel groups and voices in the United States has contributed to increased anti-Semitism in, and outside, the United States,” the resolution reads. “This rhetoric has fueled support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement which represents a financial, political, and economic manifestation of anti-Semitism against Israel.”

Risch also calls on President Joe Biden to appoint an ambassador to monitor and combat antisemitism to coordinate U.S. global policy regarding antisemitic crimes.

The Idaho Republican’s resolution joins a series of other items of Senate legislation seeking to address surging global antisemitism, including a resolution from several other Republicans condemning domestic antisemitism and a resolution from Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and James Lankford (R-OK) calling on the Biden administration to take steps to address the surge. The Rosen-Lankford resolution was introduced Thursday with 58 total sponsors, divided evenly among Republicans and Democrats.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) have also announced their intent to introduce a bill addressing antisemitic hate crimes.

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