US House of Representatives Urges Europe to Safeguard Jewish Communities

US House of Representatives Urges Europe to Safeguard Jewish Communities

(JTA) — A House resolution calls on the United States to urge European governments to act to keep their Jewish communities safe.

The resolution, introduced by rep. Chris Smith, Republican from New Jersey, passed unanimously Tuesday. Smith is the chairman of the Helsinki Commission, a congressional body which monitors compliance with human rights overseas.

The resolution, which had 89 co-sponsors, calls on the U.S. administration to encourage European governments, law enforcement agencies and intergovernmental organizations to formally recognize and partner with Jewish community groups to strengthen crisis prevention, preparedness, mitigation and responses related to anti-Semitic attacks.

“The number of violent anti-Semitic attacks has increased [by] from 100 to 400 percent in some European countries since 2013,” Smith, who also co-chairs the Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism, said in a statement. “The murders in Paris, Copenhagen and elsewhere reminded us that there are those who are motivated by anti-Semitism and have the will to kill.”

Several Jewish community groups endorsed the resolution, including the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Jewish Federations of North America, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Orthodox Union, the Secure Community Network and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

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