H. Res. 354, Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the safety and security of Jewish communities in Europe, as amended

H.Res. 354

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the safety and security of Jewish communities in Europe, as amended

Date
November 3, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
John Huston

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, November 3, 2015, the House will consider H. Res. 354, a resolution expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the safety and security of Jewish communities in Europe, as amended, under suspension of the rules. H. Res. 354 was introduced on July 9, 2015 by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ) and was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, which ordered it reported, as amended, by unanimous consent on October 9, 2015.

Bill Summary

H. Res. 354 resolves that the House of Representatives:

  • Urges the United States Government to work closely with European governments and their law enforcement agencies, encouraging them to, among other activities, formally recognize, partner, train and share information with Jewish community security groups to prevent, mitigate, and respond to anti-Semitic attacks;
  • Reaffirms its support for the mandate of the United States Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism as part of the broader policy priority of fostering international religious freedom; and,
  • Urges the Secretary of State to continue robust United States reporting on anti-Semitism by the Department of State and the Special Envoy to Combat and Monitor Anti-Semitism.

Background

Anti-Semitic rhetoric and acts, including violent attacks on people and places of faith, have increased in frequency, variety, and severity in many European countries over the past several years.  According to various foreign law enforcement agencies, anti-Semitic acts in France increased from 423 to 851 between 2013 and 2014, which included an increase in violent acts from 105 to 241. In the United Kingdom, anti-Semitic acts increased from 535 to 1,168 during the same time.  Germany experienced an increase in such acts from 788 to 1,076 during that period.[1]

The United States, United Kingdom, and France formally recognize, partner, train, and share information with Jewish community security groups, which focus on strengthening safety awareness, crisis management, and preparedness to ensure the safety and security of Jewish communities and augment similar efforts of government and inter-governmental entities.[2]

In 2004, Congress passed the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act, which established an Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, headed by a Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.[3]  The Special Envoy, Ira Forman, “advances U.S. foreign policy on anti-Semitism . . . [and] develops and implements policies and projects to support efforts to combat anti-Semitism.”[4]

According to the sponsor of the resolution, “this bipartisan resolution highlights some key ways the U.S. government can best partner with our allies in Europe to prevent deadly anti-Semitic attacks like we saw in Paris, Copenhagen, and Brussels. While individual governments have the primary responsibility for protecting all of their citizens, Jewish community groups play a vital role in keeping their communities safe, and deserve our support.”[5]

__________________
[1] H. Res. 354 at 1 and 2.
[2] Id. at 2.
[3] Id. at 5.
[4] http://www.state.gov/s/rga/seas/index.htm
[5] See Press Release—“Smith Introduces Resolution to Enhance Security of Europe’s Jewish Communities,” July 9, 2015.

Cost

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate is not currently available.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact John Huston with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-5539.