WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and James Lankford (R-OK), co-founders and co-chairs of the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism, released the following statement applauding the Council of the European Union’s declaration prioritizing the fight against anti-Semitism:

“At a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe, in the United States, and globally, we applaud the Council of the European Union for making it clear that the EU has no tolerance for anti-Semitic bigotry and hatred,” said the Senators. We welcome the Council’s recommendation for consistent use of the IHRA Working Definition of anti-Semitism and urge EU members to implement the policies called for in the declaration. We look forward to our continued global partnerships in the mission to clearly define and fight back against anti-Semitism.”

BACKGROUND: Last year, Senators Rosen and Lankford launched the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism. The Task Force now has 38 Senators, with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans.

 On December 2, the Council of the EU adopted a declaration making the fight against anti-Semitism an EU priority. The document states, in part: “With this declaration the Council emphasises that the fight against antisemitism is a cross-cutting issue involving various levels of government and policies at local, national and European level Awareness of antisemitism therefore needs to be raised across policy areas and responsibilities. The EU member states have agreed to mainstream the prevention and countering of antisemitism in all its forms.” On December 11, the European Council, which defines the general political direction and priorities of the European Union, welcomed the Council of the EU’s adoption of the declaration.

In 2016, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) consortium of 31 countries at the time, including the United States, Israel, and most of Europe, developed the Working Definition of Antisemitism: “Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” The working definition also includes several important illustrations of anti-Semitism in order to provide a non-exhaustive list of helpful examples.

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