Smith Honored for His Bipartisan Leadership in Fighting Anti-Semitism
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) was honored by the Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday with the America’s Democratic Legacy Award—the organization’s highest honor—for his bipartisan leadership in Congress in fighting anti-Semitism around the world.
“It is a distinct honor to be here with such great members of Congress who care deeply. Bipartisanship is not dead, as you can see,” said Smith, a founding co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism who was recognized with the award along with the seven other Task Force co-chairs. The Task Force was recognized collectively, and each co-chair received an award individually from ADL’s Senior Vice President for Policy Eileen Hershenov.
Smith commended the hundreds of ADL members from across the country in attendance at the organization’s National Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., for their work in helping fight anti-Semitism.
“Your presence here today, your leadership makes all the difference in the world,” Smith said. “It inspires everyone to do more, to work across the aisle, to make sure we combat anti-Semitism every time and everywhere it manifests its ugly face.”
“Combating anti-Semitism is a fundamental part of all basic human rights standards and international protocols,” said Smith, a lawmaker known for his leadership on international human rights. “Regrettably, I have to tell you, anti-Semitism is getting worse. The statistics clearly show a rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the Middle East, in Europe, and all over the world. So we need to raise our voices, and pass legislation that will put wholly an end to it.”
The America’s Democratic Legacy Award was created 50 years ago to honor “those precious few individuals who have helped make our nation a place where freedom, equality and democracy are cherished rights forever.”
After receiving the award, Smith discussed a recent manifestation of anti-Semitism, illegitimate criticism of Israel. He referenced former Soviet refusenik Natan Sharansky’s classification of anti-Semitic criticism of the State of Israel—the “three D’s” standard of “demonization, delegitimization, and double-standard.”
“We see the double-standard all over the world, particularly at the United Nations where the Israelis are picked out when other countries like Sudan and the People’s Republic of China get a slap on the wrist, Israel is always in the cross-hairs and subject to demonization and delegitimization is ever-present,” Smith said.
The co-chairs of the Task Force, honored on Tuesday, are Rep. Smith, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX), Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).