July 9, 2015
Dear State Government Affairs Professionals, JCRC Directors, and Other Interested Parties:
On July 9, 2015, Rep. Chris Smith introduced H.Res. 354 to strengthen the security of Jewish communities in Europe. The seven other Co-Chairs of the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism, Reps. Ted Deutch, Nita Lowey, Eliot Engel, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Kay Granger, Steve Israel, and Peter Roskam, have joined him as original cosponsors of this bipartisan resolution.
With the escalation of anti-Semitic and violent extremist attacks against Jewish communities across Europe, there is a need for change in the way Jewish religious institutions, schools, and community members and organizations are protected and anti-Semitism is combated. The status quo cannot remain in place.
The current epidemic of anti-Semitism, right-wing ultra-nationalism, and Islamist extremism that plagues Europe requires a pan-European approach to working across borders and jurisdictions to effectively combat the threat. This requires the engagement and coalition support of regional governing bodies, policing consortiums, and non-governmental organizations, particularly Jewish communal security organizations like the Secure Community Network (SCN), with deep experience in combating anti-Semitism, xenophobia, violent extremism, and terrorism in their communities.
European countries need to assess current security efforts; to better understand best practices and operational gaps; and to work with key stakeholders to foster closer collaborations between those responsible for local law enforcement activities and those in faith based communities.
H.Res. 354 provides a strong framework to support the assessment of Europe’s Jewish community security needs, to bring about improved, formal cooperation and collaboration with their government agencies to counter violent extremism and anti-Semitism, and to strengthen U.S. government engagement with European counterparts to keep Jewish communities safe.
For these reasons, please contact your Representative to urge them to cosponsor H.Res. 354. Click here for a sample letter/talking points.
Thank you for this important and timely assistance. For questions and feedback, please contact Liz Leibowitz at: Elizabeth.Leibowitz@JewishFederations.org or 202-736-5878.
William C. Daroff
Senior Vice President for Public Policy
& Director of the Washington Office