A bipartisan slate of 44 U.S. senators, almost half the body, sponsored a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, the latest congressional bid to address an issue that has roiled American politics.
The resolution introduced Thursday, which was observed as Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, by Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Tim Kaine, D-Va., lists a number of classic anti-Semitic slanders and prohibitions on freedoms imposed on Jews overseas and in the United States. It also alludes to recent deadly attacks on U.S. synagogues.
“Jews are the targets of the majority of hate crimes committed in the United States against any religious group, including attacks on houses of worship and Jewish community centers,” the resolution says.
Notably, the text avoids hot-button issues that members of each party have used to depict the other as susceptible to anti-Semitism. It does not mention anti-Israel bias, which Republicans have cited in criticizing Democrats, nor does it mention white supremacists and the support that has accrued to President Donald Trump from that movement, which Democrats often cite.
Nonetheless, in their joint release, Kaine and Cruz alluded to the other party’s sore points.
“In just the last few weeks, we have seen it manifested as hateful cartoons in major news publications, anti-Semitic smears in the halls of Congress, and murders at houses of worship,” Cruz said, referring to a widely condemned cartoon published in the international edition of the New York Times; statements by a Democratic freshman, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-N.Y., seen as anti-Semitic; and attacks on synagogues in California and Pittsburgh.
“In my home state, we saw white supremacists terrorizing—and even murdering—people in Charlottesville while chanting anti-Semitic slogans lifted from Nazi rallies and a President unwilling to forcefully condemn such an atrocity,” Kaine said, referring to Trump’s equivocations after a deadly neo-Nazi march in 2017.
In total, 39 Republicans and five Democrats are co-sponsoring the legislation at its launch; others still may sign on.
At least two resolutions condemning anti-Semitism have passed recently in one of the congressional chambers, and a number of others have been introduced.