March 2020 -- Adar-Nisan 5780,  Volume 26, Issue 3

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Bipartisan Task Force Urges UN to Appoint Senior-Level Official to Combat Anti-Semitism

On January 27,  Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Kay Granger (R-TX), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Randy Weber (R-TX), Marc Veasey (D-TX), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), the Co-Chairs of the House of Representatives Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism, joined Representatives Lee Zeldin (R-NY), David Cicilline (D-RI), Brian Mast (R-FL), and Brad Sherman (D-CA) in sending a letter, signed by 104 members, to Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), that applauds a recent UN report focused on anti-Semitism and urges the appointment of a senior-level official to engage global leaders and fight against hatred of the Jewish people.

 

In the letter to the UN Secretary-General, the lawmakers conveyed their fear of rising anti-Semitism in the United States and their “deepest appreciation to the United Nations for releasing the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief’s report.” The lawmakers expressed gratitude “for the leadership and commitment of the Special Rapporteur, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, whose thoughtful research made this historic report possible.”

 

The report found what many lawmakers feared: many world leaders do not know the extent of hate and anti-Semitism in their countries, in large part because they don’t have the infrastructure to monitor hate crimes, and many victims do not report their experiences. The report concluded that a senior-level official in the UN should be appointed to assist in combating anti-Semitism and address the issues outlined by Dr. Ahmed Shaheed.

 

“We strongly urge you to implement this recommendation,” wrote lawmakers, “as we believe the appointment of a senior-level leader – similar to roles that have been created in the United States, European Union, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom – would enable the United Nations to take significant steps in the fight against the hatred of the Jewish people.”