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House passes resolution urging governments to secure Jewish communities

(JTA) — A resolution urging the United States and European governments to take steps to keep their Jewish communities safe unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives.

The resolution, introduced by Rep. Chris Smith, R- N.J., who is chairman of the Helsinki Commission, passed on Tuesday.

The resolution, which had 89 co-sponsors, calls on the U.S. administration to encourage European governments, law enforcement agencies, and intergovernmental organizations to formally recognize and partner with Jewish community groups to strengthen crisis prevention, preparedness, mitigation, and responses related to anti-Semitic attacks.

“The number of violent anti-Semitic attacks has increased from 100 to 400 percent in some European countries since 2013,” Smith, who co-chairs the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism, said in a statement. “The murders in Paris, Copenhagen, and elsewhere reminded us that there are those who are motivated by anti-Semitism and have the will to kill.”

The resolution, House Resolution 354, was endorsed by Jewish community groups including the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Jewish Federations of North America, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Orthodox Union, the Secure Community Network, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

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