House Committee Passes Resolution on Safety of Jewish Communities in Europe

By Zachary Leshin | October 13, 2015 | 6:04pm EDT
A Jewish father and son pass two police officers in Antwerp, Belgium, in May 2014, as police stepped up security around Jewish institutions and schools afer four people were killed at the Jewish Museum in Brussels. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe, File)

( – Citing a dramatic increase in the number of anti-Semitic acts in Europe in recent years, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed a resolution on Friday “regarding the safety and security of Jewish communities in Europe.”

The resolution, pointing to data from the FBI and Jewish Community Security Service in France, noted increases in anti-Semitic acts in various European countries.

In France – home to Europe’s biggest Jewish community – the number of anti-Semitic acts rose from 423 to 851 between 2013 and 14. They included acts involving violence, which rose in number from 105 to 241.

In other countries over that period:

--Britain: An increase in anti-Semitic acts from 535 to 1,168, and in violent ones from 69 to 81;

--Germany: An increase in anti-Semitic acts from 788 to 1076, and in violent ones from 36 to 76;

--Belgium: An increase in anti-Semitic acts from 64 to 109, and in violent ones from 11 to 30;

--Austria: An increase in anti-Semitic acts from 137 to 255, and in violent ones from 4 to 9;

--Italy: An increase in anti-Semitic acts from 45 to 90, and in violent ones from 12 to 23.

The resolution also listed several serious incidents from this year, including:

--On January 9, 2015 in Paris, France, a radical Muslim who pledged loyalty to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria attacked a kosher supermarket and murdered four Jewish patrons at the store.

--On February 15, 2015 in Copenhagen, Denmark, another Muslim who had pledged loyalty to ISIS attacked the Great Synagogue during a bat mitzvah celebration, murdering a member of the Jewish community on security duty, and wounding two Danish police officers.

The resolution was introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who chairs the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights.

“This resolution is a blueprint for actions that are critical to prevent more deadly attacks on Europe’s Jewish communities,” he said in a statement. “Formal recognition and partnerships between governments and Jewish community groups are key, as we see here in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France.”

“The resolution also highlights the need for research, training, resources, public awareness campaigns, and communication as part of the fight against anti-Semitic violence,” Smith said.

“If our government encourages and works with our European allies to do these things, it will help save lives,” he added.

In addition to working with European governments to achieve these goals, the resolution calls for working with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), European Union, Europol, and Interpol.

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