Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

House passes bill to force Trump to nominate “anti-semitism” head who would monitor criticism of Israel

By Alison Weir | If Americans Knew | January 12, 2019

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 411-1 for a bill that would force President Trump to nominate an anti-Semitism envoy, a position that has been vacant since he took office. The definition of anti-Semitism the position uses includes certain criticisms of Israel.

The bipartisan bill upgrades the current position of Anti-Semitism Envoy to an ambassador rank, which requires the job to be filled within 90 days.

The law states that the Special Envoy shall “serve as the primary advisor to, and coordinate efforts across, the U.S. government relating to monitoring and combating anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incitement in foreign countries.”

The bill, H.R.221- Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act, was sponsored by Rep. Christopher H. Smith [R-NJ-4] and has 87 co-sponsors. Smith’s largest campaign donor was NorPAC, a pro-Israel political action committee.

To become law the bill must next be passed by the Senate and then be signed by the president. If Trump vetoes it, Congress can override this through a two-thirds vote.

The position of anti-Semitism envoy was created in 2004 over the objections of the State Department, which said it wasn’t needed. It was urged by Israeli Minister for Diaspora Affairs Natan Sharansky, who had formulated a new definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel.

Previous envoys before or after serving serving in the position worked for the Israel lobbying organization AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

The second envoy, Hannah Rosenthal, adopted the Sharansky definition of anti-Semitism for use by the State Department. This is part of an international campaign to insert the new Israel-centric definition in governments and other bodies around the world.

The Times of Israel reports that the impetus for the current bill was “Trump’s failure to pick someone for that opening over the last two years, despite frequent calls from Jewish groups.”

The lawmaker who voted against the bill was Republican Justin Amash from Michigan, a civil libertarian who is Chairman of the House Liberty Caucus.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), one of whose missions is to advocate for Israel, has been heavily promoting the legislation, which was first introduced last year. The ADL, which includes certain criticisms of Israel as “anti-Semitic,” has issued reports that there has been a “rise in anti-Semitism.”

Some have disputed the ADL numbers, since the ADL does not make public the incident reports on which it bases its claims, since some include actions or statements regarding Israel rather than bigotry, and since the widely publicized bomb threats against Jewish institutions turned out to be the work of a Jewish Israeli. Similarly, some reportedly “anti-Semitic” cemetery damage turned out to have been caused by neglect.

The new Congress has been quick to take up legislation promoted by the Israel lobby. The first Senate bill of 2019 is a composite bill that would give Israel billions of dollars and “combat” the campaign to boycott Israel over its human rights violations among its measures.

The anti-Semitism envoy legislation had been passed in the House in 2018 but did not come to a vote in the Senate. The Senate bill was introduced by Republican Marco Rubio (FL) with eight co-sponsors, seven of them Democrats, including Elizabeth Warren (MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and Ron Wyden (OR).

The Times of Israel reports that ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt called on the Senate to “take up this bill in a timely manner.”

It is unclear when the bill will be re-introduced in the Senate. The current Israel bill S.1 has been blocked by Democrats over their battle with Trump and the government shutdown. The effort to bring that bill to a vote will resume on Monday.

The House anti-semitism envoy bill was expedited and voted on with little advance notice under a suspension of the rules procedure. The Senate could take a similar course of action.

Additional legislation regarding anti-Semitism may also be re-introduced at some point.

The Senate passed the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act unanimously in 2016, and it was reintroduced in both the Senate and the House last year.

The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports: “The Act – pushed by AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Federations of America – instructs the Department of Education’s Civil Rights office to follow ‘the definition of anti-Semitism set forth by the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Semitism of the Department of State in the Fact Sheet issued on June 8, 2010.’”

The bill has been held up over objections that it interferes with academic freedom and Americans’ constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech.

Click here to see video.


Alison Weir is executive director of If Americans Knew, president of the Council for the National Interest, and author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel

January 12, 2019 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , ,

3 Comments »

  1. If the USA is to have an “Anti-Semitism” Head, then surely it should have an “Anti-Muslim” Head, an “Anti-Russian Head”, an “Anti-Iranian Head” and an Anti-Palestinian Head…….Or is this just another example of the overpowering influence that Israel has amongst America’s Political, Business, and Media community?
    Are the American people now, unable to say ANYTHING critical of Israel’s terrible treatment of their Palestinian brothers and sisters?
    “Freedom of Speech” is now cancelled(although, it is still in the Constitution, isn’t it?)

    Comment by Brian Harry, Australia | January 12, 2019 | Reply

  2. Comment #1 is well-stated. Thank you for it.

    Well-stated is this and other exposures of attempts to legislate as criminal discussion about Israel.

    First, Israel and its wars have wrought destruction to the middle east. Now Israel and its Zionist conductors are bringing destruction to the United States. How it mauls at the foundation of this government and its ideals; how this debate corrupts discourse; how the manipulation of the United States into the middle east to protect Israel drains away resources and this economy.

    All the tax payer money going to the endless wars to benefit a racist, genocidal and thieving country. How deceived to think Israel is an ally.

    There is more and more continued exposure of how the Zionist conductors in Israel and elsewhere are relentlessly attempting to disallow ANY critical discussion of Israel which they do not like. They want Israel to be beyond rebuke, let alone its criminal actions past and present and now, the future, to be subject to reports and investigation and exposure.

    Thankfully it is not outlawed, not regarded as what is coming into play as to be legislated as criminal. Where is the so-called “Main Stream Media”? Is it so owned; Is it so cowardly, that such reports as this will never be presented, out of the already established fear of offending.

    But more is wanted. Offending is not as fearful and silencing as legislation to criminalize discussion and exposure.

    Comment by michael | January 12, 2019 | Reply

  3. What do you say when a nation legislates it’s own enslavement. I’m baffled by the stupidity of Congress. Our politicians show themselves to be cheap prostitutes; and Israel is their pimp. Oh… is that Anti-Semitic!!! Well, here’s the problem. It’s illegal to give military aid to a nuclear power(due to existing treaties). We look the other way on Israel human rights abuses; we look the other way on Israel’s acts of aggression with its neighbors. What’s even worst; how many legislators have duel citizenship with Israel. If they were duel citizens with Russia, watch out.

    Comment by John P. | January 15, 2019 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.