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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks Applauding President Biden’s Actions To Fight The Unprecedented Rise In Antisemitism

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the need to combat antisemitism and reiterated his message from his major address on antisemitism last year that we must repudiate hate. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

In 1945, Muriel Knox Doherty of the Royal Australian Air Force Nursing Service was assigned to the Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp to provide relief for Holocaust survivors. She preserved her experience in hundreds of letters, which contained passages like this:

“On arrival at Bergen Belsen, [the prisoners] lay in the open and were beaten with iron bars. [The] witness’ friend was in bed 3 days as a result of these beatings.”

“The only reason for this treatment,” she wrote, “was that they were Jews.”

The only reason for this treatment was that they were Jews.

Yesterday, Jews around the world observed Yom HaShoah – the Holocaust Remembrance day. I spoke at Temple Emmanuel in New York about it.

This year, Yom HaShoah comes at an especially painful moment for the Jewish people. Seven months ago, over 1,200 innocents were brutally murdered by Hamas in the worst attack against Jews since the Holocaust. In the months since, antisemitism has swept our country – and the world – in ways not seen in generations. Sadly, we see the poison of antisemitism amidst some of the protests happening on college campuses today.

This unprecedented rise in antisemtism is why I came to the Senate floor last November to speak at length about the fear that has been growing in the hearts and minds of every Jewish person since October 7th. I believe we all have an obligation to call out antisemitism wherever we see it arise, be it from the right or from the left.

As I forcefully said in my speech, if antisemitism is not repudiated – if it isn’t forcefully called out whenever and wherever it arises – it will metastasize into something worse. That was what I wanted to emphasize in my speech.

So today, I applaud President Biden for taking another strong, decisive step to fight antisemitism at the federal level, with new steps aimed at fighting antisemitism in our communities, online, and towards Jewish students. 

Among other actions, the President has directed the Department of Education to issue new guidance for college campuses to protect Jewish students and students of all backgrounds, so that our universities remain safe havens to learn and grow.

When a Jewish student cannot walk through their quad without fear of harassment or ridicule or something far worse, we have a duty to respond.

When swastikas are spray-painted on Jewish gravestones and bomb threats made against synagogues, it demands action from the government to keep people safe.

If “never again” is to have any meaning, all of us must own the duty of combating antisemitism together, at every level of society.

Here in the Senate, I will continue to work with Democrats and Republicans to protect Jewish synagogues, schools, and organizations of all kinds from violence and hate.

It’s why I have fought to increase funding for the Nonprofit Security Program, which provides money for synagogues and shuls and schools and other nonprofit organizations – whether they be Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, or anything else – to protect themselves against vandalism and violence and all forms of hate.

As I said in my speech here on the floor last November, the best way we can work together against antisemitism is to preserve the history of the Jewish experience, to tell the truth about the horrors that took place eighty years ago.

Only then can we truly honor the memories of the innocent dead. Only then can we be sure that “the torturer never tortures again.”