On Wednesday, in what was obviously a response to anti-Semitic comments made by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) the House of Representatives unanimously passed language condemning anti-Semitism that was added to another resolution, 424-0.
The Washington Examiner reported:
The language, which does not mention Omar by name, was approved 424-0 using a legislature procedure that lets the minority party make a last-minute motion to change legislation just before it's passed. The procedure almost never works for the minority party, in part because the minority usually tries to make radical changes to the bill that the majority quickly rejects.
Roll Call explained, “The language was added to an unrelated resolution on removing U.S. armed forces assisting the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen through a Republican motion to recommit. The motion to recommit is a procedural tool of the House minority, and it is typically used to message against a measure offered by the majority. The motion to recommit was adopted, 424-0, with two members voting present. The Yemen resolution passed 248-177.”
The text of the resolution had stated, “Because it is important to the national security interest of the United States to maintain strong bipartisan support for Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, all attempts to delegitimize and deny Israel’s right to exist must be denounced and rejected." The GOP added, “It is in the national security interest of the United States to combat anti-Semitism around the world … there has been a significant amount of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hatred that must be most strongly condemned.”
Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN), who sponsored the language, stated before the House:
This is the final amendment to the bill. It would not kill the bill, nor send it back to committee if adopted; the resolution will immediately proceed to final passage as amended. Mr. Speaker, the attack in October last year against the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh was a devastating assault on the Jewish community … the gunman sent a bone-chilling message, even in 2018: hate-filled individuals will attack Jews simply for being Jewish. The Anti-Defamation League believes that this is the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States of America. This tragedy is merely one part of an upsetting development that has emerged in recent years: a resurgence of anti-Semitism around the globe.
The Anti-Defamation League reported a 60% rise in anti-Semitic incidences in the United States from 2016 to 2017. In December, the European Union released a survey of over 16,000 European Jews which reported that anti-Semitism pervades everyday life, undermining European Jews’ feeling of safety and security. Mr. Speaker, we should all be alarmed by this international trend. No one should be forced to live in fear of violence or be deterred from participating in their faith community. The United states must remain a global leader, not only in speaking out against anti-Semitism, but in holding those who enable those vile beliefs accountable.
Our motion to recommit adds language to H.J. Res 37 that affirms that it is in the national security interest of the United States to combat anti-Semitism around the world. It states that we must make combating anti-Semitism a priority in all of our diplomatic relationships, and we need to ensure that Jews around the world feel safe in their communities. Mr. Speaker, I remain deeply concerned by the measure the Democrats have called up today on Yemen, but if this resolution is going to move forward, it should do so while making a strong statement that the United States has no tolerance for anti-Semitism. I urge all members to stand in solidarity with Jews around the world and support the motion to recommit.
Kustoff later stated: “This horrific anti-Semitic tone being taken by some Members of Congress must come to an end. The language I offered affirms the United States’ interest in combating anti-Semitism at home and abroad, something my colleagues on both sides of the aisle should and must support. I am proud to stand today in solidarity with my Jewish community as this hate has no place in our country."
Video of Kustoff below: