Culpeper Star-Exponent: As hate crimes reach new high, Spanberger calls for national strategy to fight antisemitism

CULPEPER STAR-EXPONENT

U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-7th, this week joined 126 House and Senate lawmakers in urging President Joe Biden to create a unified national strategy to monitor and combat antisemitism, according to a release from the congresswoman’s office.

Hate crimes against Jewish people are again becoming more widespread, and in 2020 reached the highest rate in more than a decade in America, according to the FBI. They constituted 60 percent of all incidents based on religion, the Congresswoman’s office said. Spanberger is a member of the House Bipartisan Task Force for Combatting Antisemitism.

In a letter to Biden, the lawmakers urged the president to develop a stronger, whole-of-government effort to counter the growing danger. Additionally, the lawmakers warned that the rise in antisemitic violence threatens not only Jewish communities, but the security of other minority groups and the foundations of democracy itself, the release stated.

“Antisemitic voices, inciting hateful and violent action, are finding new audiences, with anti-Jewish conspiracies gaining traction across the globe and through social media. In the United States, the evidence of rising antisemitism is clear and alarming,” wrote Spanberger and the bicameral group of lawmakers.

“Jewish communal institutions and synagogues are increasingly targets of violent attacks, as evidenced by the violent and often deadly assaults on the Jewish community in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2018, Poway, California in 2019, Jersey City, New Jersey and Monsey, New York in 2019, and Colleyville, Texas in 2022.”

The lawmakers continued, “Because many individual agencies play a critical role in combating antisemitism, closer coordination is needed to share best practices, data, and intelligence; identify gaps in efforts; streamline overlapping activities and roles; and execute a unified national strategy.”

U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and James Lankford (R-OK), as well as U.S. Representatives Kathy Manning (D-NC) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) — co-chairs of the Senate and House Bipartisan Task Forces for Combating Antisemitism – led the letter to Biden, according to the release.

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