Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) on Thursday reintroduced bipartisan legislation to provide the United States Department of State with more diplomatic tools and support to combat the global rise in anti-Semitism, JNS reported.
If enacted, “The Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act” would upgrade the position of Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, a position the State Department has left vacant for 20 months, to an ambassadorship requiring Senate confirmation. The bill also dictates that the president must nominate an envoy within 90 days of its passage.
“We are seeing a precipitous rise in anti-Semitism around the world, manifested through acts of violence against Jews and synagogues, insults, slurs, threats and criticism of Israel that meets the criteria of what Soviet refusenik and religious prisoner Natan Sharansky called the ‘three Ds’: demonization, double-standard and de-legitimization,” said Smith.
“The U.S. must be a world leader in standing against this menace, and my legislation would help us redouble our efforts to fight global anti-Semitism,” he continued.
“Now is the time to fill this position and provide all the support necessary to carry out this all-important mission,” added Smith. “The eyes of the world are looking to us to be the leader in the fight against anti-Semitism.”
The position was created in 2004, but has not been filled since January 2017, when Donald Trump became president. In May, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged to take action on naming an envoy, but there has been little progress since.
The bill overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives in September but failed to get a vote in the Senate.
Smith was joined by original co-sponsors of the legislation Representatives Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Peter King (R-N.Y.), Marc Veasey (D-Texas), Lee Zeldin (D-N.Y.), Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), and Kay Granger (R-Texas).
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