R 206
2015 -- S 0279 SUBSTITUTE A
Enacted 04/14/2015

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators Goldin, Miller, and Raptakis
Date Introduced: February 11, 2015

     WHEREAS, Anti-Semitic acts committed and recorded in 2014 around the world,
including countries in the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, and North America, include
incidents of murder at Jewish sites, violent attacks and death threats against Jews, as well as gun
violence, arson, graffiti, anti-Semitic cartoons, and other property desecration at Jewish
cemeteries, places of worship, and communal activity; and
     WHEREAS, A survey by the Anti-Defamation League of attitudes towards Jews in more
than 100 countries around the world, released in May 2014 found that over a quarter of the people
surveyed (26 percent), and nearly three quarters of those surveyed in the Middle East (74 percent)
hold anti-Semitic views, a stunning indicator of the stubborn resilience of anti-Semitic beliefs,
even in countries where few Jews reside; and
     WHEREAS, The Anti-Defamation League survey also found that a majority of people
surveyed overall have either not heard of the Holocaust or do not believe it happened as has been
documented by factual accounts and recorded by history; and
     WHEREAS, President Barack Obama said in his remarks at the USC Shoah Foundation
Dinner on May 7, 2014, ". . . if the memories of the Shoah survivors teach us anything, it is that
silence is evil's greatest co-conspirator. And it's up to us--each of us, every one of us--to
forcefully condemn any denial of the Holocaust. It's up to us to combat not only anti-Semitism,
but racism and bigotry and intolerance in all their forms, here and around the world. It's up to us
to speak out against rhetoric that threatens the existence of a Jewish homeland and to sustain
America's unshakeable commitment to Israel's security''; and
     WHEREAS, In 2004, Congress passed the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act, which
established an Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, headed by a Special Envoy to
Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism; and
     WHEREAS, The United States Government has consistently supported efforts to address
the rise in anti-Semitism through its bilateral relationships and through engagement in
international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Organization of American States (OAS); and
     WHEREAS, In recent decades there has been a clear and troubling pattern of increased
violence against Jewish persons and their property, purportedly in connection with increased
opposition to policies enacted by the Government of Israel; and
     WHEREAS, During Israel's 2014 Operation Protective Edge aiming to stem the rocket
fire and terrorist infiltrations by Hamas, Jews and Jewish institutions and property were attacked
in Europe and elsewhere, including attempts to invade a synagogue in Paris, fire-bombings of
synagogues in France and Germany, assaults on Jewish individuals, and swastikas spray-painted
in a heavily Jewish area of London and also in Rome's historic Jewish quarter; and
     WHEREAS, Anti-Semitic imagery and comparisons of Jews and Israel to Nazis have
been on display at demonstrations against Israel's actions in Gaza throughout the United States,
Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, including, placards comparing Israeli leaders to
Nazis, accusing Israel of carrying out a "holocaust'' against Palestinians, equating the Jewish Star
of David with the Nazi swastika, and demonstrations that have included chants of "Death to
Jews'', "Death to Israel'', or expressions of support for suicide terrorism against Israeli or Jewish
civilians; and
     WHEREAS, The Governments in France, Germany, and Italy, the three countries where
the majority of incidents have occurred, have strongly condemned anti-Semitism as unacceptable
in European society and have all made clear statements that such attacks on their Jewish
communities are intolerable, and they have matched those words with strong law enforcement;
     WHEREAS, Some civil society leaders have set strong examples, including the
condemnation by the Union of Mosques of France, on behalf of their 500 mosques, called the
attacks "morally unjust and unacceptable'', and stated, "nothing can justify any act that could
harm our Jewish compatriots, their institutions, or their places of worship''; and
     WHEREAS, The largest newspaper in circulation in Germany, Bild, featured statements
against anti-Semitism from politicians, business leaders, civic leaders, media personalities and
celebrities with "Never Again Jew Hatred'' on the front page; and
     WHEREAS, Lawmakers at all levels have played an essential role in illustrating and
counteracting the resurgence of anti-Semitism worldwide; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
hereby unequivocally condemns all forms of anti-Semitism and rejects attempts to justify anti-
Jewish hatred or violent attacks as an acceptable expression of disapproval or frustration over
political events in the Middle East or elsewhere; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That this Senate hereby decries and condemns the comparison of Israel to
Nazis as an insult to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust and an affront to those
who survived and their children and grandchildren, the righteous gentiles who saved Jewish lives
at peril to their own lives and to those who bravely fought to defeat the Nazis; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That this Senate hereby applauds those foreign leaders who have
condemned anti-Semitic acts and calls on those who have yet to take firm action against anti-
Semitism in their countries, to do so; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That this Senate hereby affirms its support for the mandate of the United
States Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism as part of the broader policy priority
of fostering international religious freedom; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That this Senate hereby supports expanded Holocaust educational
programs that increase awareness, counter prejudice, and enhance efforts to teach the universal
lessons of the Holocaust; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That this Senate hereby fully supports and respectfully urges the United
States Secretary of State to:
     (1) Maintain combating anti-Semitism as a United States foreign policy priority;
     (2) Ensure that the instruments of United States public diplomacy, including the United
States Representative to the Organization of Islamic Conference, are utilized to effectively
combat anti-Semitism;
     (3) Ensure high-level United States participation in the 2014 Organization for Security
and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) high level event marking the 10th anniversary of the 2004
OSCE Berlin Declaration against anti-Semitism;
     (4) Urge governments to ensure that adequate laws are in place to punish anti-Semitic
violence against persons and property;
     (5) Continue robust United States reporting on anti-Semitism by the Department of State
and the Special Envoy to Combat and Monitor Anti-Semitism;
     (6) Provide necessary training and instruction for personnel posted in United States
embassies and missions to analyze and report on anti-Semitic violence against persons and
property as well as the response of governments to those incidents;
     (7) Ensure that United States Government efforts to train law enforcement personnel and
prosecutors abroad incorporate tools to address anti-Semitic violence against persons and
property; and
     (8) Strongly support the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's
specialized efforts to monitor and address anti-Semitism, including through support for its law
enforcement and civil society training programs; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation, the
Honorable John Kerry, Secretary of State of the United States, and The Jewish Alliance of
Greater Rhode Island.
LC001246/SUB A