Republican senators on Tuesday introduced a resolution to condemn the recent rise in hateful violence committed against American Jews and denounce “poisonous rhetoric” from progressive lawmakers who have spoken out against Israel amid renewed conflict in the Middle East.
Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and 11 of their GOP colleagues co-sponsored the resolution, which condemns hatred and violence against Jews at home and around the world and denounces recent anti-Israel rhetoric from Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.), and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), though those progressive lawmakers are not named.
“In recent weeks, Jewish people in the United States have been threatened and physically assaulted in nearly 200 documented attacks since the start of the most recent conflict between Israel and Palestine,” the Republicans said in a press statement.
“The horrific spike in anti-Semitic violence and crimes in the United States and around the world serves as reminder that hateful rhetoric and lies can quickly turn into violence,” Rubio said. “We must be very clear that this ancient evil has no place in our society and ensure America’s Jewish communities are protected.”
Hawley added that “hateful anti-Israel rhetoric from politicians and the media” inspires the “sickening” violence against Jews.
“We must ensure that Jewish people receive the full protection of law owed to them as citizens of the United States,” he said.
The text of the resolution cites preliminary findings from the Anti-Defamation League that found at least 193 reports of possible anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S. from May 7-14, the first week of renewed violence between Israel and Hamas. It also calls attention to several specific examples of disgusting attacks on Jews by pro-Palestinian activists in recent weeks, including incidents in New York City and Los Angeles.
The resolution also refers to and denounces recent anti-Israel statements from several Democratic members of Congress. It quotes, for example, Ilhan Omar calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu an ”ethno-nationalist” on the floor of the House of Representatives and a tweet she sent accusing Israel of war crimes.
Other “poisonous anti-Israel rhetoric” cited includes Rashida Tlaib’s declaration that Palestinian “babies, children and their parents” were “being massacred” by Israel, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s statement describing Israel as an “apartheid state,” and Cori Bush’s tweet accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing.”
Further, the Republicans want the Senate to reject “the biased, incomplete, and inaccurate information promulgated by the news media in the United States about Israel and the Government of Israel’s efforts to protect its citizens from terrorism.”
The resolution is co-sponsored by GOP Sens. Rick Scott (Fla.), Mike Braun (Ind.), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Ted Cruz (Texas), John Kennedy (La.), Roger Marshall (Kan.), Steve Daines (Mont.), Kevin Cramer (N.D.), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), and Bill Cassidy (La.).
Democratic leadership in Congress has condemned the anti-Semitic attacks against Jews, but so far remained silent on the anti-Israel statements made by Democrats in the House. Given the Democrats’ apparent hesitance to condemn elected members of their own party, it is unlikely the GOP resolution will find bipartisan support in the Senate.