WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), co-founder and co-chair of the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism, and Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD), led 26 of their Senate colleagues in a bipartisan letter to Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, respectively, requesting $1.25 million for the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 – a 25 percent increase over FY2021.

“Tragically, 76 years after the end of the Holocaust, antisemitism remains a serious and growing danger for Jews in Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and elsewhere in the world,” wrote the Senators. “According to a study by the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, violent antisemitic attacks worldwide rose 18 percent in 2019, including at least 53 synagogues and 28 community centers and schools that were targeted.”

“To combat the rising tide of global antisemitism, the State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism works to promote accurate Holocaust education, improve the safety and security of at-risk Jewish communities, ensure foreign public officials condemn antisemitic discourse, and strengthen foreign judicial systems in their prosecution of antisemitic incidents,” the letter continued. “The Special Envoy is responsible for developing and implementing policies and projects to combat global antisemitism by working closely with foreign governments, intergovernmental organizations, and civil society. Additionally, the Special Envoy coordinates and assists in developing the reports on antisemitism within the State Department’s annual Human Rights Reports and International Religious Freedom Report.”

“The undersigned members strongly urge you to appropriate $1.25 million for the Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti- Semitism in the FY 2022 State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act,” the letter concluded.

BACKGROUND: In addition to Senators Rosen and Rounds, the letter is signed by Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Tina Smith (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Bob Casey (D-PA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Gary Peters (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), and Chris Murphy (D-CT).

The Senators’ request for increased funding is supported by Agudath Israel of America, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith International, Hadassah: the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, the Jewish Federations of North America, the National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the Union for Reform Judaism.

In January, the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2019, bipartisan and bicameral legislation Rosen helped introduce to enhance the State Department’s role in combating and monitoring anti-Semitism around the world by elevating the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism to the rank of Ambassador, was signed into law.

In April, Rosen and Senator James Lankford (R-OK) led a bipartisan group of 20 of their Senate colleagues – all of them Task Force members – in a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to expeditiously nominate a qualified Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism in order to confront the rising level of anti-Semitism worldwide.

In 2019, Senators Rosen and Lankford launched the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism.

The full text of the letter can be found here and below:

Dear Chairman Coons and Ranking Member Graham:

As you consider the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations bill, we respectfully request that you provide $1.25 million for the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, an increase of $250,000 above the FY 2021 enacted level.

Tragically, 76 years after the end of the Holocaust, antisemitism remains a serious and growing danger for Jews in Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and elsewhere in the world. According to a study by the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry, violent antisemitic attacks worldwide rose 18 percent in 2019, including at least 53 synagogues and 28 community centers and schools that were targeted.

To combat the rising tide of global antisemitism, the State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism works to promote accurate Holocaust education, improve the safety and security of at-risk Jewish communities, ensure foreign public officials condemn antisemitic discourse, and strengthen foreign judicial systems in their prosecution of antisemitic incidents. The Special Envoy is responsible for developing and implementing policies and projects to combat global antisemitism by working closely with foreign governments, intergovernmental organizations, and civil society. Additionally, the Special Envoy coordinates and assists in developing the reports on antisemitism within the State Department’s annual Human Rights Reports and International Religious Freedom Report.

The Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2019 (PL 116-326), which passed both the House of Representatives and Senate unanimously and was signed into law on January 13, 2021, elevated the Special Envoy position to the rank of Presidentially- appointed and Senate-confirmed ambassador, reporting directly to the Secretary of State.

Providing additional funds in FY 2021 will ensure the State Department has the resources to implement PL 116-326 and continue building on United States leadership in combating antisemitism internationally. Specifically, these funds would support the Special Envoy’s efforts to improve the safety and security of at-risk Jewish communities, combat online radicalization, ensure public officials and faith leaders condemn anti-Semitic discourse, and strengthen judicial systems in their prosecution of anti-Semitic incidents.

Thank you for your consideration and prior funding for the Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. The undersigned members strongly urge you to appropriate $1.25 million for the Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti- Semitism in the FY 2022 State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act.

Sincerely,

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