Joyce Takes Legislative Action to Combat Rise in Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes

May 28, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) cosponsored H.R. 3515, the Preventing Anti-Semitic Hate Crime Act and forcefully condemned the rise of anti-Semitism in Ohio as well as the United States as a whole.

“I’m sickened by the recent surge of anti-Semitic violence, harassment and rhetoric targeting Jewish Americans,” said Joyce. “But tragically, this hate is not new. Last year, Ohio saw its largest increase in anti-Semitic incidents in over 40 years and the majority of those incidents occurred in northeast Ohio. As a former prosecutor, I’m proud to take action to ensure that those who commit these vile acts of hate are brought to justice. I will always stand with Ohio’s Jewish community against any and all anti-Semitic threats.”

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), 25 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in Ohio in 2019. The 43 anti-Semitic incidents that were reported in 2020 marked a 72% increase in these hate-fueled instances over the course of one year. When the 11-day armed conflict between Israel and Hamas broke out two weeks ago, communities across the country saw a wave of antisemitic attacks. Online platforms have also seen an appalling uptick in anti-Semitic rhetoric. Between May 7 and 14, variations of the phrase “Hitler was right” was found in more than 17,000 tweets. Overall, ADL has reported a 63% increase in anti-Semitic incidents since the armed conflict began.

Specifically, the Preventing Anti-Semitic Hate Crime Act would:

  • expedite the Department of Justice’s review of anti-Semitic hate crimes and require the appointment of a designated official responsible for handling the expedited reviews;
  • require the Attorney General to issue a report examining anti-Semitic hate crimes and investigations to Congress within 90 days of enactment and every 90 days afterwards for the next three years; and
  • remove the 10-year maximum penalty for federal hate crimes convictions if the offender has at least one prior conviction for a state or federal hate crime felony.

“My father, like so many others in the Greatest Generation, risked his life to defeat the scourge of Nazism,” said Joyce. “I’m proud to continue his battle against anti-Semitism in Congress. The hatred and intolerance that breeds anti-Semitism is the antithesis of what America stands for and we cannot allow it to take root in our society.”

“We greatly appreciate the efforts being made by Congressman Joyce and his colleagues to make sure hate has no home in the United States,” said J. David Heller, chair of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s Board of Trustees.

“Congressman Joyce has been a consistent leader on the security concerns we and other faith groups have raised,” said Howie Beigelman, Executive Director of Ohio Jewish Communities. “So while we are not surprised by his leadership today to combat this newly virulent form of Jew hatred, we remain grateful to him for standing up and speaking out. The last few weeks have been a nightmare scenario for Jewish Americans. With brazen, violent assaults mimicking the worst pogroms and attacks in our history, many are seeing their worst fears realized. Ohio Jewish Communities commends all efforts to ensure equal protection to every minority group, including Jews. We believe there is a national, bipartisan consensus on it and are grateful for those in both parties who are speaking up and taking responsibility to lead.”


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