March 5, 2019 — Washington, D.C.
AJC is strongly urging members of the U.S. House of Representatives to adopt a resolution that clearly defines and unequivocally condemns anti-Semitism in all its forms.
“What is anti-Semitism should be crystal clear to all Americans, as should every expression of bigotry,” said Jason Isaacson, AJC Associate Executive Director for Policy. “Conspiracy theories, age-old slanders, accusations of disloyalty – none is acceptable. We call on members of Congress across the political spectrum to join in rejecting hate.”
The AJC letter was sent today to members of the House ahead of a vote on the resolution. “Congress plays a critical role in combating anti-Semitism at home and abroad,” states the AJC letter from Julie Rayman, AJC Director of Political Outreach. “Congress has repeatedly promoted the adoption of the Working Definition of anti-Semitism, most recently by passing the Combating European Anti-Semitism Act, which the President signed into law on January 14, 2019.”
The new House resolution acknowledges the “dangerous consequences of perpetuating anti-Semitic stereotypes” and “rejects anti-Semitism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States.”
The House resolution draws heavily from the Working Definition of Anti-Semitism, first developed nearly two decades ago by AJC, academic experts and the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia. The Working Definition offers eleven examples, including references to common anti-Semitic stereotypes and tropes such as those alleging Jewish control of the government and of media, Holocaust denial, charges of dual loyalty, and the attribution of collective responsibility for actions of the state of Israel.
The working definition has been adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, numerous countries, and the U.S. State and Education Departments. Since the beginning of this year, French President Emmanuel Macron has endorsed it, the Czech Parliament has adopted it, and Moldova has endorsed it.
“Defining anti-Semitism is key to developing effective strategies to countering this evil,” said Isaacson. “With anti-Semitic incidents continuing to rise across the U.S., this House resolution is both important and timely.”