Congressman Cohen and Ambassador Saperstein Discuss Rise of Anti-Semitism in the U.S. During House Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing

February 16, 2017
Press Release
President Trump fails to decry rise of anti-Semitism since the 2016 Presidential Election

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, today discussed the rise of anti-Semitism in the United States since the start of the 2016 Presidential Election with Rabbi David Saperstein, the former United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, at a House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice Hearing entitled, “The State of Religious Liberty in America.” 

“The rise of anti-Semitic incidents in this country since the 2016 Presidential election is disturbing,” said Congressman Cohen. “In the ten days following the Presidential election, The Southern Poverty Law Center tracked 867 hate incidents. Of those, 100 were anti-Semitic in nature.  Over the past six months, I personally have seen a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic rhetoric on my social media. The President of the United States released a statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day that failed to mention the Jews as victims of the Holocaust, breaking with traditions of previous presidents.  When asked about the omission, the Administration said it was intentional, alarming even groups like the Republican Jewish Coalition. Not mentioning Jews when mentioning the Holocaust is a common tactic of Holocaust deniers. When repeatedly asked about increased incidents of anti-Semitism, the President has consistently failed to decry these acts and instead has chosen to talk about his electoral victory, including at yesterday’s press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. I appreciate having the opportunity to discuss this issue with Ambassador Saperstein during our subcommittee hearing today. Ambassador Saperstein, many Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee, and many of my colleagues have expressed similar concerns about the President’s failure to denounce anti-Semitic activity. It is imperative that President Trump definitively and strongly denounce these anti-Semitic hate crimes and any other incidents of hate-based violence. The President has noted that his daughter and son-in-law are Jewish, but that is not enough. He must speak out against anti-Semitism.”

Video of Congressman Cohen and Ambassador Saperstein during the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice Hearing can be watched here

Congressman Cohen is an original cosponsor of H.Res. 78, reiterating the indisputable fact that the Nazi regime targeted the Jewish people in its perpetration of the Holocaust and calling on every entity in the executive branch to affirm that fact.