Rosen-Backed Legislation Passes Senate, Will Strengthen State Department Role in Combating Anti-Semitism

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), co-founder and co-chair of the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism, released the following statement applauding news of the Senate passage of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2019, bipartisan and bicameral legislation she helped introduce to enhance the State Department’s role in combating and monitoring anti-Semitism around the world.

“Anti-Semitism continues to rise at an alarming rate across the globe. To equip the State Department to better address rising anti-Semitism, it is critical that we elevate the role of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism to Ambassador-at-Large,” said Senator Rosen. “I am proud to see that this important bipartisan bill has passed the Senate and is one step closer to becoming law, ensuring that the United States remains a leader in combating anti-Semitism internationally and has the tools needed to track and respond to this growing scourge. I will continue working to put a stop to anti-Semitic hatred and bigotry, whether at home or abroad.”

BACKGROUND: In January 2019, S.238, the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2019, was introduced by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). This bipartisan legislation would elevate the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism to the rank of Ambassador, reporting directly to the Secretary of State and enabling sufficient seniority and access inside the U.S. government and when engaging foreign governments. The bill also mandates the Special Envoy to be the primary advisor to the U.S. government on monitoring and combating anti-Semitism. The House of Representatives passed this legislation in 2019.

The Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism was established by the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004 (22 U.S. Code § 2731). The Special Envoy develops and implements policies and projects to combat global anti-Semitism, by working closely with foreign governments, intergovernmental organizations, and civil society. Additionally, the Special Envoy coordinates and assists in developing the reports on anti-Semitism within the State Department’s annual Human Rights Reports and International Religious Freedom Report.

In April, Senator Rosen led an appropriations letter calling for the Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism to receive additional resources.

Senator Rosen holds the distinction of being the third female Jewish Senator in U.S. history, as well as the first former synagogue president to serve in the United States Senate. As such, Senator Rosen has been an outspoken advocate of combating anti-Semitism in the United States, the Middle East, Europe, and around the world.

The Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2019 is endorsed by Agudath Israel of America, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), American Jewish Committee (AJC), American Jewish Congress, American Zionist Movement, ARZA, B’nai B’rith International, Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, Hadassah – The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Jewish Federations of North America, MERCAZ USA, National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry, Orthodox Union, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Union for Reform Judaism, World Jewish Congress North America, Zionist Organization of America.