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tv   Hearing on Combating Anti- Semitism Domestic Terrorism - Part 1  CSPAN  January 30, 2020 5:10pm-8:01pm EST

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watch our unfiltered coverage of the iowa caucuses live monday as we follow the candidates on the campaign trail, take you inside caucus voting sites, and show live caucus results begins at 7:30 p.m. eastern on c-span, online at c-span.org, or listen with the free c-span radio app. experts and academics from the jewish community including jonathan greenblatt testified on the rise of anti-semitism in the u.s. before the house homeland security subcommittee on intelligence and counterterrorism. witnesses discussed the role social media and big tech has played in fostering hateful rhetoric and what can be done to combat antesemitism on a national and global level.
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>> subcommittee will come to order. acknowledging my counterpart, congressman walker, during a hearing that i didn't realize was actually on the record. so, i'm going to repeat what i said previously because our friend who is injured because he tried to wrestle me, he has made
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the decision to briefly pause his career in public service and i don't believe it is the last chapter by any sense of the word, but to say so definitively on the record has been one of the greatest honors of my life, serving on this subcommittee with mr. walker. and i look forward to serving with you in many different capacities for many years to come, sir. so this subcommittee is meeting today to receive testimony on confronting the rise in anti-semitic domestic terrorism. without objection, the chair is authorized to declare the subcommittee in recess at any point. without objection, members not on the committee shall be permitted to sit and question the witnesses. i now recognize myself for an opening statement. and i will make it quick because i'm very eager to hear the testimony of the experts before us. poway, pittsburgh, munsey, 1,800
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antisemitic incidents in 2018 throughout the united states, 2,049 of these incidents carried out by extremists. since december 23rd over a dozen of attacks on jews across new york city. and after each and every one of these attacks, there is some elected official in america that says our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. after each and every one of these attacks, there is some elected official in america who says we must take action. well, today, that is exactly what we have got to focus on. the why. why is this happening? how is this happening? but most importantly, what do we do tomorrow and the next week, and the next month?
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today in my community and communities across america, jews are afraid to go outside, afraid to speak hebrew in public, afraid to congregate amongst their friends and family, afraid to observe the high holy days. over 100 years ago, my great grandfather came to new york city fleeing antisemitism, and he came to new york city and he came to america, because this country is not just a country, it stands for something. it's been a beacon for fleeing hate. it has been a beacon for freedom. and today, we consider how can we ensure that our best days are not in our rearview mirror? we look forward to considering everything from appointing the federal officials, fbi, dhs task force, how do we regulate social media, how do we increase
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funding to make sure that no person is afraid to pray, whether at a church, a synagogue, a mosque? today, we consider the rise of anti-semitism across the political political spectrum because we realize this is not a problem for any political party and this is not certainly something that we should subject to the hyper partisanship and divisiveness that has taken over this town. hopefully, for a few hours today, we can be a body that considers a problem and solutions to that problem. so with that, ladies and gentlemen, again, thank you all for being here. i would like to acknowledge chairman thompson who is, i think, who is the most
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extraordinary chairman of a committee in the history of the united states congress. i defer to you, if you would like to make an opening statement, sir. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i'm not used to getting such nice comments from you. i thank you for convening this important hearing today. this hearing is an opportunity for all members of congress to come together, and condemn acts of domestic terrorism and targeted violence motivated by anti-semitism. the issue has been a priority for a long time for this committee. as many of you heard, and the may 2019 full committee hearing entitled confronting the rise of domestic terrorism in the homeland, we've seen a dramatic and disturbing rise in acts of right wing domestic terrorism, including anti-semitic violence in recent years. unfortunately, recent events have once again confirmed that
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anti-semitic violence is an urgent and growing threat to the homeland. just last month, the jewish communities in new york and new jersey area were subject to multiple violent hateful acts. these acts have once again reminded us why it is so important for the federal government to work with its state and local partners to combat anti-semetic domestic domestic terrorism. across the country, we've seen houses of worship and other religious institutions have increasingly been targeted for act of violence. that is why i was proud to introduce hr 2476, the american nonprofit organizations against terrorism act of 2019, which authorizes the nonprofit security grant program for years to come. the program provides grants to nonprofits and faith-based organizations, in both urban and rural areas, to help secure
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their families against a potential terrorist attack. i'm pleased the bill passed both the house and senate, and i hope that the president will sign it into law shortly. while this is an important step, congress must make sure that all precautions are taken to protect communities targeted by hate and violence. this includes re-evaluating the grants program, funding levels, and working with community groups and leaders to establish meaningful partnership to attack this issue. separately, i'm encouraged that dhs released the first-ever strategic framework for combatting terrorism and targeted violence. although i still have many questions as to its implementation, this strategy appears to be a step in the right direction. i look forward to continuing oversight over the department on this issue, and working together with stakeholders to suggest the improvements in this effort. i hope to hear today additional
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suggestions as to how this committee can curve domestic terrorism while protecting the civil rights and civil liberties of all americans. congress must continue to advocate for policies that protect the jewish community and all communities impacted by acts of domestic terror. i look forward to hearing the testimony from the witness, and again, i thank chairman rose for convening this hearing. i yield back. >> thank you, sir. the chair now recognizes the ranking member of the subcommittee, the gentleman from north carolina, mr. walker. >> thank you, chairman thompson and chairman rose. i appreciate your genuine passion on this topic. i want to thank you for scheduling this important hearing and for last week's subcommittee round table with nonprofit groups which provide important background information for today's hearing. we can deny what we're seeing take place, but there's no question that the rise in anti-semitic behavior has increased. the freedom of religion means freedom of belief. and the freedom of expression of those beliefs.
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this cornerstone constitutional freedom is violated when people cannot gather safely in places of worship, community centers, or even their own house. it is also violated if they're threatened at work, on a college campus, or during community activities. in the past 14 months, since a white supremacist committed the most lethal attack targeting justs in the united states at the tree of life synagogue, there are multiple attacks, including san diego, jersey city, rockland county, new york. in fact, no community is immune to the threat of anti-semitism, and that unfortunately includes areas i represent. last year, weeks before rosh hashanah, there was found in winston-salem, north carolina and later a car was damaged by gunfire as services marking the end of yom kippur were taking place. unfortunately, anti-semitic attacks in the u.s. have been rising, and the trends are
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similar across europe. i can remember after the shooting at pennsylvania on that saturday morning i found myself attemptal emanuel in greensboro just wanting to reach out to my friends there, and couldn't have been more welcomed. anti-semitic incidents in the united states have a variety of motivation, the attack at tree of life was motivated by white nationalist bleach f beliefs. the jersey city attackers were connected to the black israel movement. there were several attacks and slurs against jews in new york city during this past month in december. an attack on any faith is an attack on the faithful. violent attacks and hate crimes must explicitly and soundly be condemned. there is no one solution to combat faith-based attacks but there is more that can be done by the government, the private sector and the faith-based community. we have a very distinguished panel of witnesses here today
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who will offer a number of recommendations including additional nonprofit security grant funding, a greater role for fusion centers, more information sharing, and an end to the antisemitic boycott or bds movement. i look forward to hearing more about these and other recommendations from all the witnesses. finally, broad range of ideologically based hatred in our society's continued obsession with violence has left too many scars across our country. i remain fully committed about an open bipartisan discussion about domestic terrorism, hateful ideologies an meaningful recommendations for addressing these threats to our homeland. we must continue to work in a bipartisan fashion to help solve the complex problems associated with not only anti-semitism, but the proliferation of hate and intolerance. i want to thank the witnesses along with the chairman for appearing here today and i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you, sir. i welcome our panel of witnesses, our first witness is
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mr. jonathan greenblatt, the ceo of the antidefamation league. thank you for being here. next we're joined by mr. nathan diament, of the jewish orthodox of america. if i could say one thing, we have seen certainly the orthodox community disproportionately suffering from a high rate of these anti-semitic attacks. i have the luxury of stepping outside my home and people not necessarily knowing i'm jewish. our brothers and sisters in the orthodox community do not have that luxury. and today, we do acknowledge this problem. and we do thank you for your leadership, sir. next we're joined by mr. eugene kontorovich -- and i apologize for what i'm doing all of your names -- professor of law at george mason university. finally we have mr. clifford d. may, founder and president of
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the defense of democracies. without objection, the witness's full statements will be inserted into the record. i now ask each witness to summarize his statement for five minutes, beginning with mr. greenblatt. >> chairman rose, ranking member walker, chairman thompson, and all of the distinguished members of the subcommittee, on behalf of adl, thank you for the opportunity to testify today and share our perspective. for more than a century, adl has been battling anti-semitism and fighting to secure justice and fair treatment to all. we stand on the front lines of fighting hate in any form. and it's fair to say that the past few years have been the most challenging that we've seen in recent memory. you've already mentioned some of the spots. from pittsburgh, to poway, from munsey to jersey city, from el paso to orlando, from charleston to christchurch, and the list goes on. but it's not just the high
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profile violent attacks and lethal incidents that i want to talk about today. it's the kid who snaps a heil hitler salute for a gag, it's the swastikas scrawled on a garage door, the college campuses where jewish students are ostracized for supporting israel. this moment is about women wearing wig, harassed as they ride the subway. it's about men in black hats assaulted as they cross the street. it's the idea that a person isn't safe in their supermarket, in their synagogue, or in their home just because they are jewish. in fact, in adl's most recent audit of anti-semitic incidents, we recorded more than 1800 acts in 2018, the third highest total we've seen in 40 years. the results came on the heels of our 2017 audit, which documented a 57% surge over the prior year.
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the largest on record. and in 2019, in new york city alone, there were more anti-jewish hate crimes than all the other hate crimes put together. now, it may surprise you, that this increase is happening against a backdrop of steadily, relatively low levels of anti-semitic attitudes among the general population. that is, our fellow americans aren't hating more but there is a growing group of people who are acting out on hate. so why is that? first, we have leading voices in our nation from both sides of the political spectrum, and academic institutions, in the media, in other stations in public life who are normalizing anti-semitism. they are using anti-semitic myths and tropes about globalists controlling government, jewish money destroying our borders, dual loyalty to jewish citizens, or attacking the jewish state with the same dangerous myths that were used throughout history to
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demonize the jewish people. and all of this destigmatizes anti-semitism and renders it routine. that's why it is so important that we call out anti-semitism whenever it happens, but especially when it's uttered by our own allies and friends. we need leaders to stop politicizing anti-semitism and weaponizing it for partisan gain, no matter what their political affiliation. we need citizens to step up and demand more of people in public life, that they should insist on a zero tolerance policy on intolerance, full stop. that's where mr. chairman, i will just acknowledge that you have shown real courage in speaking out and i applaud you for it. a second reason is that we have online platforms that tolerate anti-semitism and hate. and i'm not talking about just adults but children can find horrific hate taking place online with just a click or a
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swipe. 24/7, 365 days a week. now as someone who has managed engineers and built software products in silicon valley, i know the culture there, and i know full well that tech can do good. but it's impossible to ignore the fact that it has become an amplifier, a connector, a catalyst for some of the worst types of hate in our society. so it's long overdue for the social media companies to step up and shut down the neo nazis on their platforms. companies like twitter and facebook need to apply the same energy to protecting vulnerable users that they apply to protecting their corporate profits. that will take putting more pressure on these companies, and perhaps even new regulations. but today, i want to follow up on what the chairman said. this is not the time for thoughts and prayers. we need resources and action.
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so let me give you some ideas of what you can do right now, across party lines. number one, pass a domestic terrorist prevention act to ensure that law enforcement agencies deal with violent extremists on the homefront. pass the no hate, so local law enforcement know how to deal with this. pass legislation to ensure perpetrators of online hate are accountable. fourth, pass the never again holocaust education act so children are educated about the evils of prejudice unbound. and fifth, fully fund the non-profit security grants programs to shore up ins tulgss and meet the needs of all faith groups, synagogues, their schools, their communities centers and do that today. and lastly, i want to encourage the state department to examine whether white, violent white supremacist organizations overseas, those frequently connecting with and inspiring equally violent hate groups here at home, meet the criteria to be
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designated foreign terrorist organizations, if these groups are a threat, to our homeland, and if americans are supporting them, we can bring the full force of the law and society against them. adl stands ready to serve as your partner. i'm grateful for the opportunity to be here. and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, sir. we now recognize mr. diament to summarize his statement for five minutes. >> thank you, chairman rose, ranking member walker, chairman thompson and members of the subcommittee, as mentioned my name is nathan diament, the executive director of policy policy for jewish congregations of america, the largest in the united states, representing hundreds of synagogues and jewish schools around the country. we're a non-charitable organization. in the year 1890, in the famous letter in new port rhode island, george washington ended his letter with a prayer. it reads, may the children of the stock of abraham who dwell
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in this land continue to merit and enjoy the goodwill of the other inhabitants, while everyone shall sit in safety under his vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. i have been asked to testify here before your subcommittee to describe the problem uniquely faced by the orthodox jewish segment of the american jewish community, and that problem is simply this: now, in the year 2020, in the united states of america, the children of abraham are afraid in a way we have never been before. we are under threat of violence as we walk down a city street or enter our synagogues to pray or shop in a supermarket for kosher groceries. in the united states, even though there has been discrimination against jews for many years as there has been in other places around the world, in the united states it was not predominantly of a violent kind, but now it is. as was mentioned, as you well know, jews were gunned down at prayer in synagogue in pittsburgh and poway, and shopping for groceries in jersey city. visibly identifiable orthodox
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jews and hasidic jews, those who wear a hat or kapa, or may have paos at the sides of our heads or a long beard have been subject most to these verbal and physical assaults. anxiety about this new reality is present in orthodox jewish communities in all your districts an across the entire country. in the american orthodox jewish community, there is a widespread belief that this wave of physical attacks are an outgrowth of many year of expressions of not only anti-semitic bias in general but antiorthodox jewish bias in particular that have long gone unreported and unrepudiated. in recent years in too many localities around the country, government fishes and community leaders have felt comfortable making anti-orthodox statements in particular and undertaking anti-orthodox actions. in multiple towns in new jersey, ocean township, jackson, mawa, local leaders sought to use land
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use egg lagss to try to prevent orthodox jews from moving into their towns. about invading the community as dirty or religious zealots. it took the intervention of the u.s. department of justice or the state attorney general's office to resolve those disputes. in chester, new york, upstate in the hudson valley, a town supervisor and leadership have openly spoken about blocking housing developments to prevent hasidic jews from moving in, saying if there's any way to choose who lives there, we will. in jersey city, days after the shooting, which killed two orthodox jews as well as a police officer and wounded others, a member of the local board of education referred to jews quote as brutes, who quote wave bags of money, and ask if people in the community at large are brave enough to quote explore the message the shooters were trying to send.
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this person still sits on the jersey city board of education. finally, in rockland, county, new york, where the hanukkah celebration attack occurred last month, the rockland county republican party released a video advertisement last summer criticizing an incumbent county official who is an orthodox jew. and supports housing development that would allow more orthodox families to move into that area. the video accused the identifiably orthodox county legislator as quote plotting a takeover of the community that quote threatens our way of life. the video was eventually taken down after a flood of criticism. these are just a few of many examples and incidents in which orthodox jews are preyed as some kind of other and not part of american society. it's important to realize that these offensive incidents targeted as orthodox jewish people are amplified and accelerated by the broader range of anti-semitism we are experiencing in the united states which jonathan and the adl have well documented. it's in this context, orthodox jews being explicitly slandered
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and jews generally be subjected to classical anti-semitic accusations, that jews are being targeted for abuse and suffering this reality in an unprecedented way in this country. mr. chairman, i will conclude these opening remarks by saying even in the face of all of this i am not without hope. the fact that elected leaders from president trump, and governor cuomo and governor murphy and many others have not only spoken out against anti-semitic and antiorthodox attacks but have started to undertake concrete action to have our federal and state and local governments respond and begin to make our communities safe gives me hope. the fact that you chairman rose and your colleagues have convened this hearing to confront this problem and look for more effective ways that we can stop it gives me hope. and the fact that i as an orthodox jew representing my community was able to join with people of many different faiths to serve on the department of homeland security advisory committee chaired by general allen who you will hear from in the next panel and make recommendations for how our
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government can protect america's synagogues and churches and mosques and temples, this too gives me hope. i am hopeful we can all work together to keep president washington's prayer alive for my community and for all faith communities. and to effectuate that, i think we need to join with it the prayer that was presented in albany, new york, last week, by rabbi rosenberg, whose home in monsey was the site of the attack. he delivered the prayer last week in albany at the governor's state of the state address, and included in his prayer, rabbi said, quote, merciful god, bless us all with the courage to overcome tragedy, heal the wounds of hatred and bless us with solidarity to promote tolerance and brotherhood among all of our communities. that is a recipe for action. and that is a recipe for success in this fight. we must all join in that prayer and this effort, because if america slides further into the swamp of anti-semitism, it means our beloved united states is losing an essential element of its founding identity to be a beacon of religious freedom in
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the world. i thank you again for holding this hearing today. and i thank you in advance for the actions you will take. as a member of that advisory committee, i obviously join in that list of recommendations which you will discuss as this hearing goes on. thank you for working with us to combat in terrible situation. >> thank you, sir. we now recognize mr. may to summarize his statement for five minutes. >> thank you. chairman rose, chairman thompson, and ranking member walker, and distinguished members of the subcommittee, thank you, congressmen. thank you for the opportunity to testify. i commend you for holding this hearing. i'm going to talk about international anti-semitism and anti-semitic terrorism. and strongly suggest that these expressions of bigotry and violence are making a significant contribution to the rise in anti-semitic domestic terrorism. jew hatred is as old as the
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judean hills, predating even the ancient rebellions of the jewish nation against the roman imperialists and colonialists who had conquered their lands. over the centuries, jews have been persecuted, attacked and murdered based on their religion and what used to be called their race. they have been despised for being rich and poor, as capitalists and communists, as ruthless cosmopolitans, and in israel, as nationalists. jew haters may be white supremacists, islamic supremacists or self proclaimed social justice warriors. you can't reason people out of anti-semitism because no one was ever reasoned into it. which should be apparent, an important point, i think, in the 20th century, anti-semitism culminated in the extermination of the european jew. in the 21st century, anti-semitism is meant to
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culminate in the extermination of the jewish state. hamas, jihad, hezbollah, and the islamic republic of iran which supports those and other terrorist groups are candid about their genocidal intentions. supreme leader khameini called jewish a malignant cancerous tumor that must be removed. hezbollah's leader said if yous all gather in israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide. it is often forgotten or ignored that more than half of the jews in israel descended from families that lived for centuries in arab or muslim lands. and such formally diverse cities as cairo, tripoli, aleppo,
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baghdad, circa 1945, was as much as one-third jewish. in the aftermath of world war ii, jews were driven out, not because they supported israel, no, they were driven out because they were jews. you will hear people say, i'm not anti-semitic, i'm just anti-zionist, prior to 1948, the zionist mission was to re-establish a jewish nation part in part in the ancient jewish homeland. one could oppose that for any number of reasons. since 1948, zionism has come to mean support for israel's survival. for its right to exist. so if you are an anti-zionist today, you are at best indifferent to the fate of the only viable jewish community remaining in the middle east. in other words, to an anti-zionist, jewish lives do not matter. if anti-semitism is a disease,
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what we're experiencing today is a global epidemic. jew hatred has become not just widely acceptable but edgy, even fashionable in some quarters in lands where there are virtually no jews. one example, the malaysian prime minister is outspokenly anti-semitic. last fall at columbia university, there was a global leaders forum where he was invited to speak, and he instructed his audience, quote, when you say you cannot be anti-semitic, there's no free speech. he added, why can't i say something about the jews when people say nasty things about me, and about malaysia? would columbia university have honored a global leader, as a global leader, a christian or a jew who spoke that way about muslims, salvadorans, or members of the lgbt community? in france, sara halini a retired physician and director of a nursery was stabbed and thrown to her death from her balcony by
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a neighbor screaming al la-aqbar. a french court has dismissed all charges against her killer on grounds he was not responsible because he had been smoking marijuana. in argentina five years ago, alberto nisman, a prosecutor investigating the bombing of a jewish community center was shot in the head hours before he was to present evidence of a plot involving then president and officials of the islamic republic of iran. the current president says he has no idea who is responsible. another coverup of an alleged coverup? and in great britain recently, a serious chance that an anti-semite would be elected prime minister. i could go on but to take one moment to remind you that the united nations is a veritable volcano of anti-israeli resolutions and the human rights council is that organization's
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most prolific enemy of the jewish state. american tax dollars support it. mainstreams and summons condoning jew hatred both abroad and at home may not cause anti-semitic domestic terrorism, but it is self-evidencely a major contributing factor. my time is up. and in my written testimony, i elaborate. i offer additional information. based on the research of ftd scholars and provide 14 specific recommendations and my colleagues and i can come up with many more and we would be glad to help you along with those. chairman rose, ranking member walker, chairman thompson, let me again commend you for shedding light on this issue and again thank you for your opportunity to testify. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, sir. we now turn to mr. kontorovich to summarize his statements for five minutes. >> chairman rose, chairmond thompson and honorable members of the subcommittee, thank you for inviting me here today to discuss the unhappy topic of anti-semitism. my comments will focus on practices and campaigns that legitimize anti-semitism. that whitewash anti-semitism.
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and in particular, on the anti-semitic nature of boycotts, against people, and entities just because of their connection to the state of israel. such discriminatory boycotts known as bds do not themselves promote violence, but it does promote inherently anti-semitic ideas such as the singular evil and pariah status of the jews. and it is particularly dangerous in that it seeks to make an anti-semitism acceptable in polite society not just among fringe haters. the campaign to boycott israel seeks to legitimize discriminatory refusal to do business with people or companies because of their connection to the jewish state. this is bigotry. just as not doing business, boycotting people, because of their race, sexual orientation, or national origin, is discriminatory.
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the recognition that the movement known as bds is anti-semitic has been widely made around the world by the parliaments of germany and canada, and by the courts in spain and france, and most significantly by more than two dozen states in america which have passed laws that treat boycotting, refusing to do business with people because of their connection to israel, just the way many states and the federal government treat boycotts of people because of their sexual orientation or other factors as a form of discrimination. it makes no difference that these calls to boycott are aimed at israel rather than at jews per se. israel is the largest jewish community in the world and the home to the plurality of the world's jews refuses to deal that target israel alone and no other countries are clear proxies for jewishness,
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antidiscrimination law makes clear that using a proxy for race, sexual orientation and so forth can be discriminatory. to you sure, supporters of such boycotts say, but there have been good boycotts in the past, what about the boycott of apartheid south africa in the 1980s? so boycotts are just a tool. how do we know if they're good or bad? three factors help identify whether refusals to deal on a group basis are bds discrimination. the first is history. boycotts of jewish businesses have been about half. they have been a staple of anticampaigns most recently nazi germany and the boycott in 1948 with the creation of the state of israel by the arab league, to suffocate the new country. long before israel retook judean, samaria, the west bank in 1967. the second factor to help
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differentiate that boycott is focus. the invocation of ostensible international name, international law norms to demonize and isolate just one country, with just 0.1% of the world's population is a sure sign of discrimination. that is why the working definition of anti-semitism, adopted by the international holocaust remembrance association, and many countries now, lists as a contemporary example of anti-semitism, quote, applying double standards to israel. calls for boycotting israel almost inevitably apply double standards, a unique special standard to the jewish state. indeed, as i show today, in "the wall street journal" op-ed published today, it goes far beyond double standards. some of the most prominent supporters of such boycotts themselves enjoy, the call for boycotting iz ray reel based on international law grounds enjoy
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substantial connections to groups active in dooccupied territories. not just ignoring, but actively contradicting the principles they advance in justifying a jew-focused boycott. in my article today, i explain that one of most energetic campaigners from boycotting companies in israel is the director of the middle east division of human rights watch. who herself actively fundraises for groups that support armenian settlements in occupiers of territories. calling for boycott of israeli businesses are not about international law, they're about creating a unique area or aura of legitimacy around the jewish state. finally the third factor in identifying discriminatory boycott is the people behind it. pro-boycott groups have numerous documented links to terror organizations, and i mentioned in my written testimony, the founders and leaders of the boycott movement have openly called for an end to the jewish state. history, singularity, people involved. when all these three factors
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lined up, the anti-semitic nature of this movement becomes clear and it is a way of rapping in the mantle of human rights rhetoric some of the most toxic ideas in history. congress has a clear role in to play in combatting this and combatting the bds act, which would give congress the support for the action, now close to 28 states, to treat these boycotts as a form of discrimination. and the anti-israel boycott act, which would add to existing federal regulation against boycotts by foreign countries, the arab league boycotts, international organizations, are all important measures deserving your attention. mr. chairman, ranking member walker, chairman thompson, thank you, members of the committee, thank you for your time. and i welcome questions. >> i thank all of the witnesses for their testimony. i will remind the subcommittee that we will each have five minutes to question the panel.
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i will now recognize chairman thompson from the great state of mississippi. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me, at the outset, thank the witnesses for their testimony. i don't think any member of thif this panel understands the severity of antisemitism, its impact in this country,. but the notion somehow in the minds of some people we engage is that there is a quick fix and so what we are tasked with is to be thoughtful, pragmatic and to the extent possible get it right and so, part of your testimony here today moves us in that direction so, one of the comments, and i will ask
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mr. diamond to address it is that, how can we win, the government, effectively protect communities against violence in a way that does not result in over policing, profiling, targeting, and other strategies that may harm civil rights, civil liberties and privacy. >> thank you for your question, sir, i would say that at least in my community and our communities around the country, right now the worry is not about over policing, it's about under policing because incidents are happening, there is violence on the streets and we need the police to be in the community protecting people from these assaults. the number one thing that i have heard, even when we were among the coalition groups, the leaders of the coalition, more than a decade ago that helped create the nonprofit security grant program and we thank you
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for your leadership in moving the authorizing bill to fund that program for the coming years, we did not anticipate back in 2005 when that program started the nightmarish situation that we are in today and the number one thing that i have heard certainly from my synagogues and also as part of working with representatives of other faith committees on this issue is the number one request that synagogues are asking and i believe churches and mosques and others as well are, we need security guards or we need the police to be more frequently patrolling outside our houses of worship, even stations outside our house of worship on a saturday morning or sunday morning or friday afternoon and many police departments don't have the resources to deploy officers to that many locations so one thing that i would put to you that congress could do is that the department of justice provides many millions of dollars of support on an annual basis to local police
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departments for various purposes and i would suggest that congress should take a look at having some of those doj grants that go to local police departments, specifically allocated for the purpose of supporting local police efforts to do more policing around houses of worship and faith communities. i would also say that increasing the resources under the nonprofit security grant program to help houses of worship hire security guards or make other protective measures, it is great that we got it up to 90 million dollars this year but i can tell you that based on the information that the a.g. s has shared with their advisory committee, last year, last fiscal year when there was 60 million dollars in that pot there was 169 million dollars worth of applications. in the five years, five fiscal years prior to that, there was 131 million dollars in grant money available, there was 357 million dollars worth of
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applications. so, the demand and the need is far exceeding the resources that congress is putting into place. >> and if it were a perfect world and there was no competing interests for the money, it's not a problem but we have state and locals who, communities who will say well, there are other places we need to look at so mr. greenblatt, can you shed some light on this for me? >> sure, there are few things to think, about first of, all mister chairman, i would just keep in mind that what you said is absolutely true, that we talk about more policing, that raises some concerns among communities of color because a long history of systemic racism. keep in mind, number, one that there are many choose of color, african american, caribbean, american lets you know, ms. ronny, who have similar concerns, so it is not something that is unique to or separate from the jewish
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experience, that's number one. number two, keep in mind that many of the, synagogues, the house of worship we are talking about, pittsburgh, poway, many others that we see, are not located in dense urban environment where there is room -- there butting up against communities of. color some of the committees my colleague mentioned in rockland county new york or other areas just do not have those issues. but number, three as we engage law enforcement to support these communities in this fashion, it clearly needs to be done in a way that is very sensitive to the outlying communities so what i would suggest is that there is an ability to engage in security measures that keep the synagogues and schools and community center say, that keep the mosques and go to ours and black churches safe, and do it in a way which is respectful of the equities and civil rights for the people in the area. >> thank, you i think the question is, you have to have the training of the individuals
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to understand the broader communities that they're working in so training goes hand in hand. the other issue, chairman, if you bear with me, the online platforms that are more or less pushing out a lot of this hate. we have grappled with it from the committees perspective as to what do we do, facebook for instance has taken the policy position that if you pay for, whether it's right or wrong, we will let you put it on our platform. some of us disagree with that. other platforms have said no, if it's wrong and we know it's wrong, were not gonna put it there, so we have some policy issues putting it online hate in those platforms and i'd like to just get from the four of you how do you think congress
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should address those online platforms. >> well, if i might, i can give you some specifics and then open it up to my colleagues. the adl opened up a center in silicon valley in 2017. our center for technology and society which is headed up by a former software engineer is focused very specifically on this problem because we need to work for the companies. the face of innovation is so dramatic that it is indeed hard to keep up with it and yet we cannot wait for the companies to regulate themselves so, there are steps that can be taken and i wouldn't offer you if you considerations, so, number one, the online safety modernization act is really quite relevant so, this is about protecting individuals from harassment and hate online. so, that is something you should look at and that is right now going through committee. i think number two, we should push the companies to take a couple of very concrete measures, in force their own terms of service. all of the companies have them,
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but think about the principle of accountability. they need to enforce their own terms of service the same way other businesses do. if you stand at the aubon pain downstairs and say, all of the mexicans go back to mexico, they will throw you out and if you go to the starbucks down the street and you say, the jews are destroying our, borders the manager will throw you out. we should ask that facebook and twitter exercise the same discretion and throughout the antisemites and neo-nazis. and racist. they could do that tomorrow. second thing i will just point out is decency, they can be amplify the antisemitism. you can do things to the algorithms to make sure that when you promote, i don't, know neo-nazi, white supremacist and hateful rhetoric targeting any community for and from any side of the, aisle that does not pop to the top when your child opens up youtube. number three, they should use innovation, artificial intelligence, machine learning,
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they should invest the same energy to protecting their users that they do to protecting corporate copyrights and then lastly, transparency, in this we get to a concern that i know many of us have, because people, ask are they shadow banning certain groups? are they waiting when idea over the other? independent third party regular audits. by the, way like all other businesses comply with. this is the thing, and then i'll stop. new media for some reason doesn't have to obey the same laws of gravity is old media. print, broadcast, radio, i could go on. that is because of the communications juicy act, section 2:30 and there are steps you can do right now to hold them accountable, and you should. . >> mr. diamond? >> i would just briefly, add i certainly agree with everything that jonathan mentioned it i would just add to other point. one is that specifically in the artificial telegenic arena, it
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is my understanding that software in algorithms have been developed by those who want to thwart sex trafficking, and ai programs have been developed that can be overlaid on the internet and on facebook and if you see other platforms and is able to flag and take down you know, based on keywords, it's iterant setter and really suppress the ability of sex traffickers to use platforms for those purposes. there is no reason why that ai technology can also be utilized in combatting antisemitism and racism and any other kinds of pernicious things that we are trying to impose. and i will just stop with that. >> thank you. >> i would certainly associate myself for the remarks of my two colleagues. here i think they know a lot about the social media, having studied it certainly more than we have. i would just add that antisemitism is an ancient hatred, i do not think we are
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going to curate. i think we can treat it in many ways. you mentioned training education. i think that is important. i think having members of congress back in their districts talking about this issue, helping to educate local, leaders community, leaders officials, appearing with members of the judy -- jewish community. all of that seems to me very important in order to send a message that antisemitism, do hatred, that anti israel a zone, that he zionism is something that decent people do not. tall what are university by someone who is not spoken antisemite and name someone as a global leader i would love to see a member of congress in that district speak up about that in that situation. >> antisemitic material was proliferated long for the internet. it did not take facebook for the protocols of the elders of zion to be a worldwide bestseller and available in
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every country in the world. indeed, with the internet now i think it is easier for people to find things, out educate themselves and find out the for, example this document is not an actual protocols of the elders of zion. i testified last, year earlier this year in the senate on the question of regulating such speech online. we have to remember, things on facebook, just like the protocols of the elders of zion are protected by the first amendment. they are. speech at the same time as mr. greenblatt pointed out, the communications decency act contains various protections and carve outs for tech companies which are not required by the first, amendment which are discretionary grants by congress and can be reevaluated it to see if they have been using this benefits wisely. >> thank you very much. thank you. we will now go to our colleague, the ranking may member mister walker. >> thank you mister chairman.
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mister chairman. there is no question that antisemitism is rising around the world. mr. make, what are you all seeing in terms of anti-semitic rhetoric and violence. >> quite a bit of anti-semitic rhetoric and violence. and much of western europe. what else? the other thing that is going on that you should be aware of is that crimes against jews are being treated differently than crimes against other groups or minorities. >> how do you come to that conclusion? >> i mentioned one, a woman in france was murdered and not the suspect, the person who committed that murder has been led off. he was that off because he's with smoking marijuana and he was not responsible. i don't think that would happen. find you and 2017, and germany,
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it upheld a lower court sentencing of three palestinians headset fire to a synagogue. it was the same synagogue that have been burned during crystal knocked in 1938 eight during the program the front association. the court decided the perpetrators should be released without punishment because they were incensed about israel's actions in the middle east. so they're active arson, did not constitute antisemitism. it was just a protest. in belgium last year, a french born jihadist was found guilty of murdering an israeli couple and two staffers at a jewish museum in brussels. his lawyer claimed the is attack was executions by 18 to them aside. >> thank. you >> there's a list i could go on that what happening in europe is dangerous, the jewish community feels very threatened. >> mr. khan for ravich thank
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you cutting your trip to israel short, we appreciate you being here. as international antisemitism has contributed to antisemitism in the united states? >> the phenomenon's go hand in hand. the motivations deferred. again, every antisemite is coming from a different place. from the left, from the right. but to the extent that the demonization of jews and putting them beyond the pale, making them particularly legitimate objects of hate. to the extent that that idea becomes mainstream or becomes accepted for any reason, than antisemites of all stripes including every kind of violent antisemites you might find in america could attach themselves to that speaking on that topic. how would you recommend or should you recommend the united states push back against antisemitism around the globe. is it something that could be restricted here?
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>> for example my comments about efforts to single out israel for boycotts, and companies doing business in israel for boycotts. that is a global effort. to the extent that it is found in america. it is part of broader efforts in europe and internationally. the measures like the anti israel boycott act which would push back on the extraordinary effort of the un of businesses making business in israel, and put them on a black list. these are crucial and that's where congress could take the lead. >> a couple of yes or no questions for the panel. i will start from the left. >> do you believe that antisemitism comes from many different ideological drivers? >> yes. >> mr. may. >> yes. >> mr. diamond. >> yes. i based on your testimony, you believe the bds movement is fundamentally mister antisemitic. >> yes. >> mr. greenblatt. i think the people responsible
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for the movement our anti-semitic. i think the outcomes from such campaigns or anti-semitic. some people get caught up in the issue who might not realize what it is all about. >> what you said at the very core you would agree with the colleagues. >> bds is a tactic in the broader movement of the illegitimate station that is inherently at this a medic. >> what do you reject people who say they want them to change the policies towards palestinians? >> i do reject that. we have some history here. israel pulled out of gaza entirely in 2005. that was one of the two occupied territories. i'll call them disputed territories. taking gaza from egypt now from the palestinians. israel said okay we will leave. after they left what happened? gaza has become a platform for terrorism against israel completely. if israel were to leave the west bank without security guarantees. or simply to pull out. what would happen is that they would have missiles and mortars
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fired on tel aviv, jerusalem international airport. israel would have to go in there. it would be bloody for both sides. smart previous advocates know this, they simply do not care. >> my last comment here. it makes me pause for a minute and think of my african american brothers and sisters who can relate to some of the things that you guys are going through. i'd also like to say, a special thank you to mr. peter king in his last term. there has been no stronger voice against such in congress. i'm honored to follow in his shoes. welcome leads held in, a strong voice. with that i yield back mister chairman. >> thank you sir. i ask unanimous consent from mr. zeldin and mr. raskin to sit and ask questions of the witnesses. we will move on to what miss jackson-lee from texas. >> thank you mister chairman. let me thank all of the witnesses who are here today.
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i acknowledge this committee has certainly been at the forefront of dealing with some of the heinous acts that we have had to endure. but enduring is not the same thing of losing your life, and during is not the same thing as having your religious services violated. and during is not the same thing of being afraid to wear your religious attire. to walk the streets of any city in this nation. i'm reminded having known mrs. evers, mrs. major evers, having known her for a good number of years. she has never forgotten to remind us what it was like to see medicare embers, gunned down in the front yard of their home. in front of their children. searing, on forgetting, and unforgettable double. as well, to see and be reminded
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of the three boys in mississippi that symbolize the violence of that time. there were people during that era, afraid to come out, afraid to walk, afraid together. and of course, america rallied. to be able to use, and remember the department of justice in an effective manner. to utilize what presents federal marshals and other federal entities that could be used to calm to the deep south. to be able to break the chains of absolute fear. what about the bombing of the three little girls in a birmingham church? and i hesitate to say that i'm going to say it, how tragic that we are returning to that fear today in the 21st century america, where we have celebrated the richness of diversity of our nation, where we have celebrated the variety
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of faith, the jewish faith and people from the jewish faith or what happened to be jewish, are taking their rightful place in athletics or education or politics. unique i believe, and if i facts are correct, how we might have the first your speaker of the house in the state of virginia along with some of the uniqueness of where latinos are in spite of the policies that have been undermining them. and then, of course, dealing with our african american community, and our muslim community and mosques that had been attacked so i believe that it is time now that we look to the civil rights movement as a model, certainly pass the legislation of my chairman chairman thompson and the energy of chairman rosen our other members, it is time for us to act. we need to enhance and write legislation dealing with the reporting, we need to take the language of see something say something to be dealing with
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religious issues in this era, we need to also -- something i'd intend to take up is to enhance the training of law enforcement to detect and to be effective in their review of antisemitism and other antis as relates to religion. but the needs to be excitement in these local law enforcement that deal specifically with these issues. why? because there is an uptick. and why i say this is because we are dealing with this offensive sign. can you imagine? this little circle that was innocent, we thought. here it is, for you this is roger stone. then we see it in the kavanaugh hearings where people are utilizing this. we are told that this is a symbol of white nationalism. so, let me ask you, gentlemen, and i might, if you could, go
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straight across to starting with the first witness. what is the value of enhancing and up taking the sensitivity to this dangerous behavior and calling it what it is, reporting special training for law enforcement, certainly legislation for enhanced security. >> so, congresswoman, thank you for the question. this is a big area of focus for adl. we do advocacy, education and we work with law enforcement. today we are the largest trainer of law enforcement in the united states on extremism and hate. we train 15,000 officers every year. we train the fbi recruits. we train the whole nypd. we train federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to recognize hate and to judge what is a hate, crime what is a extremists. and i would argue that what they know hate act calls, for
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which is before the committee right, now calls for ensuring that law enforcement is trained up across the country on how to recognize and deal with hate, and that they will report on it, because keep in mind even though we have some very solid data, as does the fbi, hate crimes are still massively under reported so there is work to be done to make sure that law enforcement applies with the law and reporting this the fbi. >> and you also add in there the importance of domestic terrorism law dealing with white nationals and other act. >> yes, indeed, in the course of my service on the dhs advisory committee what you will hear from our co-chairs in the next panel, one of the passages we consistently heard from leaders, in federal and local law enforcement communities is that if you could have somebody coming into this country from overseas, engaging in certain activities and because there are anti-terrorism watches that are in place, the fbi could open investigation and conduct surveillance etc and disrupt or
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thwart a possible. plus. people that is what they pay you the big money for find out why not just jewish communities perspective but from interact with the muslim communities and other faith communities that they really feel under a lot of pressure right now. we need to work together and figure out a way that is respectful of civil liberties but we'll also address the challenge of hand which is not only coming from overseas but is coming from sadly within our borders as well. >> i would say that i think your concerns are well-placed and in my written testimony you will find recommendations regarding law enforcement and
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education they could strengthen, my colleagues i can strengthen both of those areas. >> okay. >> thank you so very, much i yield back. >> i will move on to mr. king, when the great state of new york. >> first of, all let me think all of your testimony, and the concern i have is still, i think with all the testimony we've heard various times, in understanding why there is this dramatic increase in antisemitism now. obviously we can blame white nationalism, and i think your point is well taken also, we should look to see if there's a connection between white white nationalists here in this country and also in europe. i think that is having an impact. but of course we had a series of anti-semitic attacks
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including murder in new york and not one of them was carried out by white person. you look at the bds, movement talk about educating people, we have bts movement on our campus in these are the most you can people so it seems like it's coming to mueller directions, and why this, time i, mean none of the excuses that we use in the past four antisemitism, you know, terrible -- a terrible economy, some incident that would somehow allow demagogues to stir up antisemitism, none of those outlets are as present today as they were in the past. why now do we see it coming from so many different quarters? >> so, i'll try to answer that, so number one, i do think we are in an environment where antisemitism has been normalize or de stigmatize. again, we see it when people say that jews have dual loyalty or that is all about the benjamins on. once people say that the globalists are trying to take over congress or that jewish finance years are trying to destroy our borders and people don't call it out and i say it's. okay so it is a competition
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that was not happening just a few years ago, number, one indeed, i think there are a fringe groups as there always have been, you know, that will take this an act on violent impulses and social media is allowing crazy ideas to spread in ways that was not possible just a few years ago, keep in mind we track on youtube a series of anti-semitic channels it over the course of this year, we found five, they reviewed 81 million times, off the wall content that honestly you couldn't find anywhere, it's not like it was the political to the others of zion, but you couldn't buy invited noble, and not go to amazon and, we want to look at the prime member, it is my living room the next day. so, number, three the guilt of the holocaust and its memory is fading and that is allowing again i think that ideas to come into the center. so, there's just some ideas of
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why we are in this very charge moment last thing i will say is that in a polarized world there is indeed a lot of anxiety and systems aren't providing the solutions, political system, in the marketplace and in those moments, in those moments, where there is anxiety and a lack of, answers, people latch on the easy solutions, to stereotypes to explain away their problems and that is when the antisemites moved from the margins right into the mainstream. >> i would just try to add very briefly -- briefly as i try to say in my opening comments that particularly in the orthodox community, i unfortunately have to say that i think we've been a subset of the broader jewish community and leaders of communities who have engaged in anti orthodox statements and actions have not been repudiated and called out the way antisemites more generally have been and as examples i gave my testimony and so i
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think the fact that we are now realizing that are responding to that is unfortunate but welcome. the second, thing just to add to jonathan's point about social media, one of the things we heard from the office of the secret service that engages in analysis and profiling of potential criminal actors is that social media has really condense to what they call the moment of inspiration action and so, it is really, the timeline for radicalization of ideas to action has just been so condensed and accelerated by social media and internet as well. >> let me just mention that, for centuries indeed millennia, jews have been convenient scapegoats. they still are convenient scapegoats for very many groups. again on the right or the left, islamist supremacist and
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others. we have re-emphasized the united nations which continually, day after day, pours out anti israeli and really antisemitic resolutions and rhetoric. it was very useful i think, when we had nikki haley as ambassador, because she stood up to this on a regular basis. senator trey moynahan who i had the privilege of knowing when he was ambassador to the united nations. i knew him when he was a senator. he also stood up against antisemitism and anti is realism and was a model. i think it would be good for this body to encourage in any way you think it's appropriate the current ambassador to the united nations, kelly craft, to also make this a priority and stand up to the constant flow of poisonous rhetoric coming out of that body right there in new york city. >> mr. king i think your question is fantastic, at the question. why now? i want to say professors like to explain everything. but one important thing in
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social science is deep and complicated human phenomena do not always have an explanation. everyone wants to say, this is happening because they read the left wing website, the right-wing website. it could be that they did that maybe, but they probably also had breakfast and that did not make it happen either. why these things happen? why these strange movements of people, uncoordinated, have been a different times is very hard to know. we know where there are countries where there are no jews and yet surveys suggest deep antisemitic views, never seen it you. why is that? that is why antisemitism needs to be treated with particular sensitivity. it is something deep, eight of his stick, always with us. unlike anything else. that might be a mistake to bump it up with other isms, other anti. 's because antisemitism is something that is always with us. it comes in strange waves and
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motions. we need to be able to deal with it even though we might not completely understand it. >> thank you very much i yield back chairman. >> thank you mr. king. next up is miss stop in from the great state of michigan. also like to formally commend her for her entire professional life, taking part in the fight against terror. both abroad and here at home. >> thank you chairman. so, thank you for doing this panel. i think you can see there are is strong support, when you can get bipartisan members of congress to stay through an entire hearing and it ask engage an interesting questions. you know you have a topic that has strong bipartisan support an interest. we have been reading materials, we have all been talking about a four fold increase in victims of antisemitism in the past two years according to greenblatt's testimony. on top of the vandalism, the harassment. in michigan we have seen the
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same precipitous rise in antisemitism including, a synagogue that was defaced, a michigan state university which i represent was defaced, so this is an issue that is very much on my mind and in our hearts. i am a cia analyst by training and so, while i respect the view and certainly have lived the experience that antisemitism is as old as the world. we can't dance around the idea that there has been a precipitous increase. and so, i am interested in order to fix the problem, we have to understand what is at the root of the problem. we talked about the idea of mainstreaming. explain to me how it has become mainstream. we have social media 15 years ago, ten years ago, five years ago. but we have had a precipitous rise in the last couple of years in these incidents.
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we know some of the most violent incidents, the shootings in california and pittsburgh were centered around a conspiracy theory that probably should never have seen the light of day. it was the basis for their desire to enact violence on people. explain to me, particularly the role of leadership in mainstreaming and they cemented him. mr. greenblatt and mr. may, as crisp as you can if you could. >> antisemitism as it has been said called the oldest hatred, it is not new. i mean over the last decade, if you try to pull back a little bit, at the adl, we track some 220 extremist murders in the united states. 200 of which were committed by extreme right wing elements like white supremacists, anti government activists. that's 200 in the last decade. 12 by islamist radical jihadists, eight by radical
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left wing types. i want to point out that the violence did not just start. what we saw in 2016 was a dramatic increase after anti-semitic incidents had been on the decline over 15 years. 2016 and went up 34%, 20 7:14 57%. 2018 antisemitic assault doubled year over year. the victims tripled. something is going on. i think to your point, the idea that conspiracies him has now become part of the political dialog is deeply problematic. we see terms like globalists, or open borders, or all of the crazy into nations against george soros that he is paying migrants to come from central america. these ideas are not new. they are lifted from the pages of white supremacists. they are laundered through services like 4chan and 8chan,
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to read it and facebook, and to the talking points of political pundits on prime time television. i will just say, number one, that has a lot to do with it. because this is the stuff that feeds the deranged. i will also point out, that the crazy ideas that somehow, again, the jews control congress. or that israel is behind all the machinations feeds an equally odious narrative that comes from a different ideological direction. when it goes on challenged. when it goes on responded to. it settles into the conversation. so mr. may. >> help us understand the role of leadership in this? i have 50 seconds left. >> i think you're completely right to put on the role of leadership. it has not done what it should do. why did the present of the columbia university say we should not be having wreck, recognizing as a global leader, someone who is an aunt open antisemite. why was that not done? the antisemitism inform ends up
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justifying violence and antisemitism. this is going on all over the world. legislation passed in ireland, it is not yet law that would say it is illegal for people in ireland to do business with jews in a jewish quarter of the old city of jerusalem. they think this is a way of protest israel, but they are saying jews in the jewish quarter, we will not do business with them. i think that needs to be addressed by our leadership. i can give you other examples of this as well. leadership is very important, it's and signals. >> is the leadership of the president united states importance or? >> it is very important. >> i think my time is expired. i will go on. >> thank you. >> can i get tense like as they say something. on the issue of violence, what irish americans it's disgraceful. we've officially complain to them about it. >> i know you've been involved in that. >> thank you very much. next up is mr. zeldin from new york. >> thank you chairman for
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hosting this hearing, it is an honor to be here. a very timely topic. thank you to the chair and to all the witnesses who are here for both panels. first off, there are a few pieces of legislation that i am supportive of that i believe congress can ask to assist. what is the never again education act. hr 9:43. the antisemitism and awareness act. hr 4:09. the hr 59 95. this one. the combatting bts act. for the millions of americans who are watching us live on c-span right now. the public service announcement of january 24th, it is international holocaust remembrance day. just a few days later on january 27th is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of auschwitz and earlier this week in my office i met with the un special repeat tour on freedom of religion or belief
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the special wrap came out with a report the touched on this topic and encourages the secretary general to appoint a senior level leader in the office of the secretary general with the responsibility for engaging with jewish communities worldwide as well as for monitoring antisemitism in response to the united nations so as i heard mr. may and others talking about the united nations specifically, i think will be great for the secretary general to act on that recommendation made by the special reporter. mr. greenblatt, i think it would be helpful for the community, for congress, for our country to get a little more of a historical perspective on -- there was an executive order that was signed a few weeks back and some people were just becoming familiar with the issue as the executive order was first being scientists, put a lot of people don't realize is the bipartisan historical context over the course of the
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last several years and why i really do believe that more americans, regardless of political affiliations, not just should be aware of the historical context but should be supportive of the underlying substance. >> sure, so, congressman, thank you for the question, thank you for your leadership on the never again education act, we also agree that it should be passed forthright so i'm glad you brought that up. so, we think that the executive order that was signed by the president just a few weeks ago is incredibly important and in large part because it indeed has a bipartisan history so to step back i think as mr. may pointed out, we do have a legitimate issue with jewish students being marginalize on college campuses because of their quote unquote support of israel, that is often the pretext, but i have heard stories about kids afraid to go to hill because they will be excluded from certain parts of campus, because if we marginalized in certain groups and if so -- if you will forgive, me off the,
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wall and the challenges that in the education, in the office of civil rights, has never in its history part of the few weeks ago taken out the case of a jewish student civil rights being violated so during the bush administration there was a directive, a decision rendered that i.c.e. are should not look at these violations of jewish students civil rights and let me just step back, because title ix does not -- else, excuse, me it does not -- it lays out that it protects people on the basis of race, religion or national origin. this is excluded? as soon as they are considered race. does it exclude? jews so, the bush administration found more no it should, not because often jews are targeted in the same way people are for race or national origin and so that decision was challenged and then reinforced by the obama administration's justice department were said yes indeed jews, like six are muslims are often considered a distinct ethnic group and should be protected by title
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six and so what the eu does is simply codify, coming from the white house that it is time to actually enforce that. honestly, it is more symbolic than anything because it simply reiterate what the obama and bush administrations had found but it also does something very important inasmuch as it recognizes the ire a definition of antisemitism, so ihra says what the international call holocaust remember cessation, is a group of academics and precedent scholars. there is no politics in this group. from many countries around the world who over -- including the united states over several years develop the step nation and so the eo codified the definition reinforce over the bush in abominations are. at the end of the, day it is about how universities enforce their own policies and hopefully this will help them understand, if you don't protect the civil rights of jewish students like you would
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muslims are african americans or latino's, then you might be at risk of losing federal funding. that is a good thing in this environment. >> thank you, mr. greenblatt, and hopefully it is a topic that really we can make progress in a breaking down barriers because it really started as a product of republicans and democrats in congress, republicans and democrats, not partisans outside of congress, i know mr. greenblatt you are involved in. it >> it builds on the antisemitism awareness act which passed unanimously in the senate and was moving with bipartisan support through the house until it was held up in the last session so you are absolutely right, along bipartisan basis for this. >> so gentlemen, thank, you we will now move on to mr. lying oven from rhode island. >> thank, you mister chairman, for holding this hearing, thank you are witnesses for your testimony today. i find the rise and spread of anti-terrorism extremely troubling and i think it is important that all of us call it out and condemn it as often
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as possible and not be silent. in your testimony, mr. greenblatt, you mention that the fbi unit on hate crimes is based on enforcement reporting and i agree with you that without fully understanding what we cannot measure and in this case unfortunately the trend of reporting seems to be (interpreter) -- rather than increasing so how can we go about improving the fidelity of the statement, in your, view it is primarily a matter of better identifying hate crimes at the state and local level or do at liaise have this data but just not reporting them to the fbi? >> so, there are few things, i think number one indeed the integrity of the data matters so much, congressman, i, mean we can't manage what we don't measure and the fact is that some 80 plus percent of law
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enforcement agencies around the country actually don't report hate crimes at all so why, don't they do? that may be the law enforcement is not adequately trained up to recognize the difference between a hate crime and an ordinary offense. maybe number, two too much paperwork, didn't want to deal with it at the police desk, maybe number three there are afraid it will reflect badly on the community but this is the purpose of the no hate acts that is moving right now through the house, it is indeed to ensure that law enforcement is adequately trained and adequately tracks hate crimes against any marginalized group. if we better understand the issue, if we are better counting it, we will be able to more effectively correct it. >> i wanted to speak clear, did you say 80%? >> it is like 87%, i think, it is massive, now, just to be clear, most of the major metropolitan areas do report, but there are many large ones like honolulu reports zero hate crimes a year and there are
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other large mattress that simply don't report it all. i can assure you there is probably a hate crime and hallelujah at some point over the past 12 months, but again, law enforcement does so much good. we work so closely with them, with better training and resources they can get this done. >> thank you for that conversation and missed the amount or mr. greenblatt, we have seen many of these anti-semitic attacks that have often be linked to extremist activity online and message boards or social media. we have talked about that, both in your testimony this conversation here but can you expand on your view, in your estimation, how would you judge the work of social media platforms, again, we talked about this already but can you expand on that and what should the role be in helping to stem extremist content. the challenges some of the social media platforms say they
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are a platform, others would argue that they are publishers and should be held to a higher standard and so, what should their role be in helping to stem extremist content and should their focus be on moderating content directly or removing consistent bad actors from the platforms? >> well, i appreciate, that, nathan look, i think it is worth noting that the companies have taken some steps. youtube has taken down extremists channels. facebook has taken down extremist accounts. twitter has introduced policies, red it has quarantine problematic users. google has used sort of data boxes when you do certain searches so, there are steps they have done but they have not done nearly enough and the 81 million views i described that we found on those youtube channels, four out of the five channels are still up today. the kind of op-ed you could never post, you can never
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publish in any newspaper in america, you can post with almost instantaneous glee on facebook. the kind of videos you could never show on any broadcast network, you can post instantly to youtube, right? so, the reach in the instantaneousness of it is really a natural. there is no natural law that says when i posted video it should show up automatically. that is not ordained by god, i keep in mind that the shooter in christchurch, the shooter in halle, they lived streamed the shootings so again, i think the companies need to exercise a kind of moral authority and live by some of the same standards that they should impose themselves that again, broadcast, print, radio, other media live by these standards and frankly although there is room for improvement, they work pretty well. if the companies can protect copyright, if the companies can go after sex trafficking, the companies can do a better job
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of addressing hate speech and if they will not do it, they need to step up and as professor contour of which said, section 230 in the communications decency act holds them to a different standard than all traditional media. it is time to look at that and assess, if they will not answer the problem, you probably need to. >> thank you all, i appreciate your perspective on this and your attention to this. thank you. >> thank, you, sir next up is miss clark from the greatest city in the world, new york city. >> thank you very much mister chairman and i thank our ranking member. i think all of our expert witnesses who have testified before us today. it is not enough to live in america where we are assured the right that we can practice our religions freely. we must live our lives free from fear. just a few weeks ago the attack at the hanukkah celebration in my city state of new york was a
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vivid reminder that the ancient evil of antisemitism still exists and sadly it does not just exist, it is on the rise. in jersey city, san diego and pittsburgh, we have seen the death toll of these hateful ideologies grow larger and larger. in fact, pittsburgh was the deadliest act of domestic terrorism on the jewish community in america's history, killing 11 people simply observing shot. in my district, the brooklyn and crown heights communities, we have also seen violent hate crimes occur in rapid succession and with alarming frequency. we must reject hate and we must take action to confront it. antisemitism has no place in our society. my first question, mr. diamond
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is tragically, the orthodox jewish community has often been the disproportionate target of anti-semitic violence. we have seen this in my own district, my own community where i live and i'm deeply concerned about the recent spot of violent attacks in communities like mitt would end in crown heights. as you stated in your opening testimony, the very fact that many orthodox jews where visible markers of their religion may put them at risk, which is totally unacceptable. in your view, how can and should government officials provide support specific to the needs and issues facing orthodox communities in order to protect them against violence? >> thank you for your strong statement councilwoman clark and i think as i said earlier, i think in the short term, to use your words, people need to be free from fear and in the short term, well we are in this crisis, and it is a crisis, we
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need better policing, nypd does a wonderful job but i suspect even they could use more resources to really provide the level of police protection that our communities need and the communities themselves need more resources in terms of making our synagogues and our schools and other places that we gather more secure. just to give you a ballpark figure, you know, to hire a contract security guard forum a private company at 40 dollars a, week that is 360 dollars a week for a single security guard and you multiply that out, that is not something that your typical small synagogue has in its budget and was contemplating, let alone dramatic physical infrastructure improvements like shatter proof glass and surveillance cameras and controlled entries and so on and so forth, the nonprofit security grant program has been a wonderful resource for that but sadly more synagogues and
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more churches and more mosques need those resources to make their congregants more secure. >> i think we have been having those conversations with our municipal and state partners in new york city and i think that the message has been received. mr. greenblatt, and mr. diamond, the distinction between the real world and the virtual world is blurring. antisemitic rhetoric on the internet can and does inspire actual deadly attacks. in your estimation, how does the mainstream social media companies done so far? i know you mentioned the bit, and what can congress do to help reign in hate speech on platforms like 8chan? >> so, i would give you the mainstream companies pretty poor marks. again, they have done some things but not enough. so you have the public platforms like facebook and google and youtube and twitter and then you have what i will call private platforms, 4chan,
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8chan, discord, and particularly like 8chan and 4chan, congresswoman, they don't obey any laws. they have almost weaponize the first amendment to target marginalized people. they will allow the kind of sexual predators, horrific bigots, the worst elements of society up there and yes, i think it is long overdue to take action and i think these companies don't exist in a vacuum. they exist in a value chain and so we should say to the financial institutions which allowed them, do you, financial institutions, want to work with companies that pedal this kind of garbage, the cybersecurity, companies the hosting companies, the domain names providers, again, there are ways we can encourage companies to behave with a degree of moral leadership, if those particular firms won't do any at all so, i think it is long overdue for this to happen. >> thank you very much mister chairman, i yield back.
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>> miss clark, thank you. miss up -- next up is miss rice, also in the greatest, state. new york >> thank you, mister chairman, mr. greenblatt, we have a time constraint here but recently i met with a group of high school students and survivors to take part in you jays witnessed projects and it was so incredibly moving, these high school kids meet with the survivors and hear the stories directly so that -- because there will come a time in a not too distant future when there will be no more survivors, and who will tell their story? and if you look at the statistics, the percentage of people who either do not know about the holocaust, literally, do not know about it or do not believe it, the aspect of this from an educational standpoint to me it is other than politicians like us and people in the public discourse watching what we say and not feeding this rise in
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antisemitism, it is ensuring that this is taught as a fact of history, not just some tall tale so if you could to talk more about that. >> congresswoman rice, i think what you are pointing out is really important so, we know that our own high school students do incredibly poorly in terms of their basic civics so it should not surprise us that the majority don't even know what auschwitz was, right? and again as was mentioned by my colleagues, the show a stands out as the most, probably most horrific acts not just in the 20th century but in the history of humanity and the idea that as we lose the survivors we lose the memory of the shoah is unconscionable so i think as mentioned a few times, the never again holocaust education act is really important. every american student should be educated about the holocaust and genocide. what can happen when hate goes
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unchecked, what it means when law enforcement and government, the instruments of the state, are used as tools to target, the persecuted to murder people because of how they pray or who they love or where they are from so, we deeply believe in this. you know, i think we are ever going to get our arms around antisemitism, we cannot arrest our way out of the problem but we really cannot, like a lobby, or legislator, we need to change hearts and minds. that is why, you, know every year we reach over 1 million school children with our anti bias education programs, there are other excellent organizations like basic history and the splc that do really good programs around this but i would challenge you today. you should get that act passed so that every american student, and to operate in an increasingly diverse country an
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increasingly global world gets educated but by sunday. i think it is the minimum we can give to our kids if we ever really want to inoculate them from intolerance. >> challenge accepted, thank you very much. >> mr. rice, thank you very much and i apologize, speeding things up and get a bit, mister raskin from, maryland thank you for being here. >> thank you, mister, chairman the great state of maryland, thank you for, mentioning that let's see. i want to start with you, mr. greenblatt. we are now in an election year and i know that adl makes a point, as you just observed a few moments ago of calling out antisemitism when you see it and not allowing it to become part of the fabric of everyday existence and i remember clearly in 2016 when the adl blew the whistle on donald trump's closing tv add in 2016
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campaign which had focused on george soros and gent yellin and said, essentially, these people are globalists who are exploiting the american people and i'm wondering, do you take special precautions in election years to try to contact campaigns or political parties to talk about the use of anti semitic trope and themes? or what do you do to make sure there were not going to see that further degradation of our political discourse? >> congressman, i think it is a very good question so we are a 51c3 organization and as such we don't get involved in politics. i don't care how many of you vote. i care what you value. i don't care what lever you pull, i care whether or not you push prejudice so indeed in 2016,, we call the candidates when they said things that were beyond the pale and when you make claims that there is again
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a global conspiracy and you point the finger at only jews as driving that, forgive me, but that gets our attention. no matter who is saying it and no matter what the consequences are of speaking out. that being said, indeed, i worry as we move into this political cycle we have candidates on both sides of the aisle, within both political parties who have engaged, or certain members have, with the kind of rhetoric that i think does not belong in our political conversation. so, we do take great pains to be even handed. we will call it when we see it and i think for me, that is a good way to conclude because what gives me great hope today is after charlottesville, you had members of congress, you had members of the senate, governors on both sides who called this out clearly and consistently and over the last year year and a half, from the mayor of pittsburgh to the governor of new york to many of you, members of the new york delegation relative the attacks
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we've seen in the last few months, you have called this out clearly and consistently. as the grandson of a holocaust survivor who lost entire family in nazi germany, when the government attempted to murder all of european jewelry, as the husband of a political refugees in the middle east, a government from iran, a government that is the most anti-semitic in the, world it is instrumentalized as the chief plank and its foreign policy, i can tell you what makes a difference when people in positions of authority speak out. i applaud all of your for doing just that. >> thank you, and if i'm not mistaken, mr. diamond, you're still a constituent. this is wonderful to hear. a lot of my constituents are terrified by the rise in anti-semitic violence and especially parents of small kids, especially if they go to jewish schools and so on and i know that this is something that is of great concern in the orthodox community but, what
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special precautions are being taken now and what more do you think the government can be doing to enhance people sense of security against, you know, the resurgence in anti-semitic terror and violence? >> thank you for your question. by congressman, just to be fair, i should, say my sister lives in miss rices district my parents live in mr. king's district. in terms of precautions, there are range of precautions that my organization is undertaking. they range from assisting our congregations with becoming educated on and applying for the grants for security improvements that it available both from the federal government and from state and local governments and we also have been working with local congregation in terms of developing best practices for training the congregants of what to do should there be an unfortunate emergency situation,
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many, many, many of our congregations have volunteers who are standing outside, synagogues and have been trained on how to be watchful in sort of a see something say something kind of context and so that is what we are doing in terms of our congregation a life. as i said earlier. there is a lot of anxiety about this but i don't think we are going to cower in fear. we are going to, we are a resilient community and perhaps because sadly there have been centuries of antisemitism, we have the resiliency and the courage to work with people of goodwill and government leaders who care to try to push this back and say no, we are not going to be fearful. we are going to recognize our freedom of religion this country. >> mr. raskin, thank you very much and with that we thank the witnesses of our first panel for their extraordinary testimony. especially because mr. miller
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scheduled his plane like a true new yorker, we asked that we move expeditiously to the second panel. thank you so much again.
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okay, we welcome the second panel of witnesses. our first witnesses mister jean mueller, deputy commissioner for intelligence and counter-terrorism at the new york city police department, the greatest police department in the history of the world, we think the men in blue. we will jump right to you because i know you are a bit pressed for time. >> thank you for the introduction and it is good to be back. good afternoon chairman rose, ranking member and members of the subcommittee. i'm john miller, deputy commissioner for intelligence and counter-terrorism with the new york city police department. on behalf of the commissioner and mayor de blasio i'm peter pleased to testify before your subcommittee to discuss the disturbing rise in bias, crimes especially anti semitic violence, as well as the nypd's efforts to address that. an attack on a member of a particular community, target because of their race, religion,
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nationality, gender or sexual orientation is an attack on all new yorkers. new york city is the world epicenter of diversity and stands as an example of artistic cultures,, religions nationalities that exist side by side learning from one another and enriching each other. unfortunately, last year in new york city, we saw 428 hate crimes. that is a 20% increase in hate crimes over 2018 which in and of itself is concerning and a 26% increase in anti-semitic hate crimes which comprised a majority of the total hate crimes in our city. that would be 234 antisemitic hate crimes. now, we see that the lion's share of that number are things like graffiti, broken windows, a property crime as a hate crime. these are very challenging to
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solve because oftentimes nobody knows when it occurred or who did it or how long it's been there. it is a challenge when these things are in bathrooms or in a school classroom or in a wall, to find the evidence or witnesses however, i would underline in the much smaller percentage involved in assault, physical attack on another person, our clearance right, there our celebrate, if you will, is over 80% so, that is significant. we put a lot of work into those, we pull out all the stops. by now, you have all heard of the brutal machete attack in monsey,, new york just outside the city which enjoyed five very seriously. this were people peacefully, happily celebrating hanukkah when the brutal attack in the shootout in jersey city you also heard of which killed six, including a police officer, turned a quiet neighborhood
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into a battlefield in an afternoon. but, these days, it also seems like every new cycle carries yet another story of violence targeted jewish new yorkers, including children so, what are we doing about it in new york city? what are we doing about it specifically as the nypd? first of all, we are wrapping up our uniform presence in the city, particularly in neighborhoods that have been targeted by anti-semitic violence. the first line of defense is our most valuable asset for the nypd and the fight against violent extremism and that is our highly trained, dedicated an extraordinarily diverse personnel of the nypd. they collectively make up our department and they make it stronger because the nypd has worked very hard for a long time to stand up a force of officers who reflect the city they are trying to policing. and we are succeeding. in a majority minority city, the department is now a majority minority police force with each subsequent graduating police academy class
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reinforcing that trend. we now have members of the service from 161 different countries, and 1382 members who speak more than one language with 168 languages represented among them. that encourages -- is encouraged by the support of a myriad of fraternal organizations across all of those ethnicities, religions and languages. we embrace our diversity in new york city. we embrace our viewers -- diversity as the nypd. we have spent significant resources to ensure those who commit crimes motivated by hate are apprehended and brought to justice. the numbers bear that out. last year hate crime apprehensions increased by 30% for the most serious defenses. criminal possession of a west spun, criminal mischief, swastikas, graffiti, robbery, assault, grand, larceny, murder
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and attempted murder, this is the job of every member of the new york city police department but the focal point of our efforts in this area is the detective bureaus hate crimes task force. its personnel, are detectives and state troopers who are especially trained to identify and investigate hate crimes. it is the largest such municipal unit in any police department in the country. now, the nypd of course saw the disturbing upward trend of violent bias crimes sweeping across the country and moved very early on between the time of september and december, they moved to form the racially and ethnically motivated extremism unit, within our intelligence bureau. this new unit also has about 25 nypd personnel, detectives, analysts, police officers working side by side with members of the new jersey, new york and pennsylvania state police as well as agents from the bureau of alcohol, tobacco,
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firearms and explosives. it is specifically dedicated to investigating not just hate crimes but more specifically the actions and growth among violent hate groups as they spawn across the country and across the internet, the idea is to identify groups with a propensity to violence and the individuals who may carry it out and to stop those incidents before they happen. to do this, we go by the same rulebook and the same tactics and the same techniques we used to thwart attacks by isis and al-qaeda and the lone wolf they inspire. very open dozens of investigations within the unit a short time since it was formed. it consolidates and streamlined the efforts against this threat landscape in facilities engagement within the department with our federal state local and private sector partners, some of whom you spoke to today. the anti semitic and hateful
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violence we see and surrounding communities inevitably touches on new york city even if they do not start in new york city. because of, this wherever there is a high profile incident anywhere in the country or in the world, such, as as we discussed a moment ago the pittsburgh synagogue attack or the christchurch shootings on the other side of the world in new zealand, and ypg goes on high alert, and further increases our visibility around houses of worship and customize is a deployment plan to discourage any potential copycat attacks that may be inspired. the value of our collaborative efforts to guard against violence imported into new york cannot be undersold. remember, jersey city is literally on our doorstep. the upstate attacker arrested by our officers in harlem has no connections to new york city that our current. which begs the question, why did he flee that cnn come to new york city? what was he doing their?
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we still don't know. that investigation continues. what is intentions were, we are still working tirelessly with our partners to find out. most of the proud boys are not from new york city but have presented too attractive a target for them when they decided to engage in violence. the white supremacist near naturally group patriot foreign have taken their recruiting efforts to new york city. just last, week they breezily hung a banner with anti immigrant language over an overpass in brooklyn. the same freedom in diversity their new york strengths are the same reason it is the number one target for violent foreign and domestic extremists all at the same time. finally, one of the new york city's holistic approach to combatting hate crimes, commissioner she has announced last week that hate crimes will now be included in our calm statistical analysis so as we generally follow the fbi's you
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see our hate crimes will be in that lineup that we watch very closely within the numbers and the mapping and the crime strategies for any uptick or change. antisemitism manifest itself in many forms. well organized groups, will factors, alluded to vigils and everything in between. antisemitism in all its forms however is steeped in ignorance and dread of muddled an incoherent spirit conspiracy theories, some of which were discussed at this table this afternoon. it is more easily spread and consumed, these, days however, because of social media. for these reasons, the lasting solution to bigotry and hatred will never be grounded solely on law enforcement and heightened security. it will only be achieved when every citizen works collectively to educate each other and reinforce our shared values of tolerance and unity. new york city and the nypd will
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continue to be at the forefront of this movement. thank you again for the opportunity testified to this committee. i would be happy to answer any questions. >> mr. miller, thank you, just a quick -- how much longer do we have you for them? i will take a very quick point of privilege. grammy, how many of these, cases, roughly i know you can't go individuals but how many are connected to neo-nazi organizations, adam often, the base, that also have global linkages. you mentioned that you are following the same rulebook that you have used over the course of the last decade, two decades, to attack the jihadist terrorism but you do not have the same toolkit. particularly designations of foreign terrorist organizations which as you know is almost a singular focus of mine at this point. so can you give us a brief high-level analysis of what you are seeing and how much this is hurting you, the absence of an
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f ceo designation as you continue to tackle neo-nazi threats, antisemitic threats and the threat of domestic terrorism. >> so, the remedy cases by and large involving white supremacists and neo-nazi groups to date, what we see is a trend that activity is rising but we also see it is dynamic in that you have organized groups, some of them, to answer the quarter questions have overseas connections with foreign groups of the same ideology. others are purely domestic. and then beyond that you have people who are pump not part of the groups per se but follow them online and then act out violently as loan actors. we encompass all of that but it is disturbing when you see people who are part of supposedly domestic groups who are training overseas, and domestic groups that are planning actions that if they were doing the same action on behalf of isis and al-qaeda,
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would be squarely within the terrorism statutes, even though those actions are politically driven and using violence in the fear of violence are not considered terrorism under the statute as they stand. >> do you think that we can seriously take on this fight against antisemitism without considering episode assignations for global neo-nazi organizations? >> i don't understand why we are torturing the subject. a terrorist should be regarded as a terrorist, as a terrorist. i don't understand what we have to decide well, it's terrorism but it is domestic over it is terrorism, because it is foreign. terrorism is terrorism. >> i. >> okay i think the statues should reflect that to answer your question. >> not to make this overly informal but considering that mr. miller is a bit constrained, anyone have any questions that they would like to ask mr. miller? mr. king? yes, it is clark.
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>> thank you, mister chairman, i thank you commissioner miller for all of your hard work and dedication to the people of the united states of america and of course our beloved city, new york city, as you know there have been a number of anti-semitic incidents in my district, particularly in mid wood, and flat bush in crown heights areas i've urge the nypd and other law enforcement agencies to monitor this situation closely. we are very happy to hear what you are doing with contact because i think that may help us to get to the core of the matter but can you discuss and ypg strategy to combat violent hate crimes and in particular incidents targeted towards jewish -- particularly orthodox jewish communities. >> so, the first thing we did as these incidents began to rise, congressman clark was to increase the police presence in those neighborhoods and around houses of worship and in the areas where we were seeing the hate crimes and that was a
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combination of house of worship personnel, specially trained precinct personnel who then literally change their uniforms and become counter-terrorism officers and we placed them there because they do have that training but it is a select group, as well as the crtc which is the critical response command. that is our forward leaning uniform counter-terrorism force. we pushed all of that into those neighborhoods when we started just as we push those forces towards mosques during the christchurch attack, just as we push them towards christian churches after the attacks in sri lanka. this is something that we are trying to get a handle on as, two is it a trend? is it a fact? isn't and. we have seen a disturbing uptick, and we are there. >> sorry. >> thank you, mr., miller and be safe on the flight.
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next we are joined by general john are, allen co-chair of the homeland security adviser subcommittee with the prevention of targeted violence against faith-based organizations. finally, we have mr. paul goldberg, co-chair that same advisory committee. we thank you and we look forward to hearing your statement. >> thank, you chairman rosen ranking member walker. members of the subcommittee, and thank you for your leadership. as, noted my name is john allen and i am a retired marine, and slightly self conscious that i am not for new york this afternoon. it is really a great pleasure to be before this subcommittee this afternoon to be joined by call -- call golden bergh who is my fellow co-chair at the homeland security adviser subcommittee on the prevention of targeted violence against faith based organizations. we are exceptionally grateful for your continued leadership on this issue before us today, that of anti-semitic violence
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do include the threat of domestic terrorism, we are doubly appreciative of your support for our recently released homeland security advisory council work which i concluded, added to our submission for inclusion in the record. this is a critical moment for your leadership and it is shining through, but more needs to be done as a collective approach to this problem. it is a broader problem than just antisemitism, as we found in our, research but we focused on that today and it is absolutely crucial that we have this conversation and future conversations of this kind. let me turn the floor at this moment, since you have given us the latitude of doing a joint statement, to paul goldenberg who will speak for the next several minutes on the nature of the threat that we all face. >> thank, you general, good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and let me marry general allen's thanks to you all.
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we are here today because of your leadership. i also do want to add to the record that i am from the state of new jersey. our recent message with the a.g. sacked has passed us with examining considering the rise an attack against places of worship, security faith based organizations across the country, in particular, subcommittee we chaired was task to provide findings and recommendations on how dhs can best support state and local governments of faith based organizations to keep houses of worship safe, secure and resilient. our final report which was released just a month ago today details our findings and recommendations in full. our work was significantly aided by the advice and counsel of representing offices and entities across all of dhs, which has a vast array of highly dedicated men and women
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and the broader u.s. government including the doj, the fbi and the united states secret service. as alluded to earlier, i believe it notable that our members took to the field, went to the, field and went to the ground, visiting, synagogues mosques, temples, and churches, meeting with communities impacted by targeted violent attacks committed by some very heinous violent extremists. these engagements are literally eye-opening, even for air very jaded senior former police officer from the state of new jersey. our nations faith based communities are one of the few institutions that has the resources and the will to bring together people of contrasting political opinions, races, religions and ages, uniting communities from a variety of backgrounds an interest and offering a range of competencies not often found in
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a single community organization. or for that matter, a police force or government agency for. they have the fundamentals to empower people in developing a sense of ownership among all members of the community and for some, they see it as an achilles heel. unfortunately, the question of whether face based communities and certainly the jewish community is targeted by eight hatred and terror, is not up for debate. synagogues here and abroad remain targets. the threat itself, the primary inspiration behind many of these targeted violent attacks is to force us to not merely question our fundamental safety and security as, well our ability to protect our nation, and to look to change our behavior's, success in the eyes of these domestic terrorist comes when we were tracking our daily routines, ways of living and even spiritual and political beliefs. we need to further explore the impact of these hate filled
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messages with public trust. as well as attacks perpetrated by white violent supremacist actors and other similar separatists and violent extremist groups grow in number, we should all be concern than adverse public reaction may generate something that these violent extremists could never have achieved on their own. this complex psychological progression becomes an enabling tool for those who seek to derail our way of life. indeed, citizens immunize against the psychological influence of targeted violence and terrorism have a much greater ability to resist such manipulation, that is our perspective and that was our mission within the age sack, and i would like to now turn it over to general allen to discuss the recommendations for how we respond to these threats. >> ladies and gentlemen of the subcommittee, and thank you, paul, what he has described is no ordinary threat. is a national security issue
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for the united states, it is a threat to our way of life. that is the truth plain and simple and i think the testimony of the first panel and that of mr. miller, that of what we discovered in the course of our research for this report substantiates the nature of this threat. nevertheless, we are not here today to admire the problem but to discuss what we can do about it. to that and, much of this is reflected almost verbatim in our recent report. we need to be thinking about these issues at a strategic level and have a tactical framing as well. rather, there are efforts that can be undertaken at the national level by the congress in the administration leading the charge, but there are also many efforts that can be undertaken at the local level also. our report contains 46 recommendations overall and we lay out 70 recommendations in the executive summary in response to the unique nature of the issue. we are happy to go into greater detail during the q&a.
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now, to add a bit of personal framing, from my own experience in counter-terrorism, we looked at how communities can prepare themselves prior to the terrorist incident or the attack, what we call, to the left of the incident, we look at how communities can prepare and react to the incident itself during its course, what we sometimes call at the bang. we also talked about a research what can be done on the other side of the incident, to the right of the incident where reconciliation and recovery is essential. we look to these measures across all of this and at the incident itself, excuse, me at the point of a lot to the incident, before it occurs, many preventive measures are available to these communities, and hear consistent can training a committee outreach which we discussed already in the first panel, especially between state and local law
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enforcement officials and first responders is essential with our face based communities. at the incident itself, at the attack, there are protective measures, which can range from deployment for security advisers to increase coordination for responders and of course increased defensive capabilities, pardoning the infrastructure within the communities themselves. in his category, funding, especially through the fema nonprofit security grant program is crucial, and i have to commend this committee and the congress not just for enlarging that, funding being open to discussion to increase it even more and then finally, to the right of the incident, after it has occurred, this can include anything from resilience and efforts with the community efforts focused on healing and reconciliation as well as justice and accountability. it is the response of social workers and community advocates and law enforcement and healers playing such an important role
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alongside our police and first responders as well as civil leadership and legislators, it is that responds that can carry the community through the trauma of that attack and to some form of normalcy in the aftermath. very importantly, i said legislators because i believe that for the congress it means three things and this is a personal plea as much as it is a recommendation of the co-chairs of the subcommittee. first, i believe that no other body today in the united states can maintain focus on this threat for our faced communities as can the u.s. congress. you are of the people, you represent the people and your attention on this matter as evidenced by today is extraordinary and your attention continuing into the future we will be -- second, you have the power of the press and there is a need for increased funding,, not just the form of increase grants, but to law enforcement
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our levels and third or, laws we have talked a lot this afternoon about the close legislation in legislation that is in the process of being acted and i could not more strongly associate myself with all of that conversation, because we have to have the laws to hold is accountable when they perpetrate these kinds of crimes, but there needs to be a formal discussion, a full discussion on the nature of a domestic terror law. i believe we reach that point this emergency where we not only talk about a domestic terror law but we also talk about designating domestic terror organizations, and domestic terrorist themselves. it is an unsettled conversation. we have not found our way to a final conclusion and there are complexities with this associate with the first amendment and constitutional rights and civil rights which are fraught but we have to have this conversation now given the uptick in the violence against
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the jewish community, but other communities, committees a color, muslim, communities seeking hindu communities, our black communities, in the context of the christian church. we have to have these conversations and i believe it is a time now to have the conversation about whether we have a domestic terror law and domestic terror designations and with that i will turn it back to paul for his closing remarks. >> thank, you general. as the list of recent attacks against american faith based communities rose, almost daily, we have seen a rekindled call for domestic terrorism laws as the general just referred, to provide federal law enforcement agencies similar tools that are available to combat violent targeted tax by international terrorists and i think we heard that several times today from law enforcement experts, that has been resonating. many believe that these bill specifically would provide
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required resources to federal law enforcement officials, some of which have indicated they do not possess the suitable tools. >> my apologies, we have stretch this, we have to vote right now. so what we are going to do is the committee's going to stand in recess to allow members to vote on the floor, then the committee will reconvene in ten minutes thereafter and we will continue this very, very important conversation. thank you.
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>> ok. >> my sincerest apologies again. we will get started when i was speaking with general allen a few hours ago when he introduced himself he said i believe we served together at one point, which officially is going down the greatest understatement in the history of my life. but thank you again and we will let your testimony continue.
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>> thank you. in closing, as list of recent attacks and againt faith-based communities grows we have seen a rekindled call for domestic terrorism was to provide federal law enforcement agencies similar tools that are available for targeted violence attacks committed by international terrorists. many believe these bills specifically have would provide resources federal law enforcement officials some of which have indicated they currently do not possess suitable tools for addressing domestic terrorism and we are happy to talk about that more in the q&a but to close, faith-based non-governmental organizations extend beyond -- important unit of a homeland security effort.
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faith-based and nongovernmental organizations own and operate infrastructure that is vulnerable to attack provide direct support and response to man-made disasters and provides vital resources and services to tens of millions of americans every day. by educating community members and leaders to share critical real-time information and by more effectively working with law-enforcement partners to have the fundamentals to empower themselves to develop a sense of ownership among the whole community. every recommendation that general allen discussed today to include in our report is sourced in that reality and framing. finally, let me say having had the honor and privilege of working with our current acting secretary over the years i could not possibly recount the number of times that he has
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pushed on these issues. general allen noted the importance to be seized at this moment is more significant and critical than ever. this is certainly the case for acting secretary wolf and i can personally attest to his passion and care fighting for progress and support of our faith-based communities. with that, we'll close. general allen and i welcome your comments and questions, and thank you for the opportunity to speak on this most important and critical issue. >> thank you again for your testimony. i'll now yield to one of the fiercest fighters againt antisemitism in the country the congressman from new jersey. >> thank you mister chairman. general, mr. miller, i am honored to have you both in our presence. general, do you think it would
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be helpful if we had a domestic terror law? have a piece of legislation i'm working on that i introduced in a bipartisn way last congress that freezes the assets would that be helpful from home grown terrorist and other terrorists in the united states? >> yes. i don't think there's any question. that is my opinion. it is not the opinion we expressed in the report. in the report we made the point this is an issue that needs to be thoroughly debated. on the one side it gives us the tools you discussed on the other side there are concerns about civil rights and that conversation needs to be had because it's not settled i happen to believe we should have both a domestic terror law and the capacity to do designations as well.
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>> thank you, and what cases do you think it would be best utilized in, in the work you're doing now to fight anti-semitism, how do you believe it could be utilized to help protect our country? >> obviouslythose individuals who are organized in a manner to employ violence as an extension of their extreme ideology, there should be a price to be paid for that. there should also a price to be paid for those in the same context as the foreign terrorist for those who provide material support to those kinds of organizations as well. as a commander overseas fighting the both the taliban and al-qaeda one of the great assets that i had was the foreign terrorist designation. this terrorist threat is no less a threat now in the united states as americans to descen
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upon americans and inflict terror in enormous quantities, having that legal mechanism in terms of freezing assets, limiting travel, penalizing those who provide material support to this kind of a group as well is designating individuals gives us another tool in the toolbox to deal with this. >> one thing the chairman worked on together is fighting the massive spread of terror online which through social media has now been used as a tool to recruit not just around the world but at home and we are concerned about the spread -- and facebook has taken a lot of steps and we have worked closely to encourage twitter to
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do the same but these handles go up every single day. it's hard to stay ahead of them and we know it's in their arsenal. and those who have those designations should not in my view be allowed to post online or have handles to be on facebook or youtube so your thoughts on that? >> the entire cyberdomain in which so much of the world operates in the physical domain that the cyberdomain just as i mentioned with the capacity and the foreign terrorist organization designation to limit the movement in the physical domain by limiting their capacity to travel, having the capacity to limit the movement of domestic terrorists in the cyberdomain
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to limit access by law to certain social platforms is a different way to think about this and we need to think in those terms. in the cyberdomain there are no boundaries or borders. sovereignty has an entirely different meeting than it has had traditionally and when domestic terrorists victimize elements of our population and move with impunity from one platform to another, we should be thinking in those terms. this is a different kind of sovereignty, a digital sovereignty and we should be confining and limiting their capacity to move across cyberdomain to use that as the mechanism and platform to victimize the population. >> thank you. i'm limited on the clock. mr. miller. >> goldenberg, paul. i'm from new jersey. >> really? >> essex county, now
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monmouth county. >> by the shore? i love a jersey guy. >> have you heard of whitefish, montana? hopefully you will google it it is a pristine beautiful place it is pretty magical sits on the side of a mountain amongst some good people population of 8000. 126 jews. to because ago i received a call from a rabbi roston who said to me, what do we do? my son's photo, the photo of a local realtor in town who got into -- there was a situation between herself and richard spencer's and richard spencer was very proactive in certain ideologies.
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there are folkd that places the families, the sons the internet and put a star of david with "jude" on the chest of the children and called for an armed insurrection against the jews of whitefish. it was literally one of the most heinous acts i have seen as former law enforcement executive myself. i know that if someone took one of my children's photos then that would have a huge impact and would put terror and fear into my heart. here's the problem. no one was arrested or prosecuted and quite frankly this is not a criticism but the local attorney general's office and prosecutor's office, the state attorney general's
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offices, the state investigative bureaus, weren't quite sure how to handle such a thing. but here we had a jewish community rethinking whether they stay put in a beautiful pristine place such as whitefish. now two and a half years almost three later they are there and stronger than ever with tremendous suppport from the local citizenry of all colors and religions and those that are propagating these types of thick terrorist threats that this conversation pro for doj and other agencies to sit down and determine where is the line.
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>> thank you both for your time and i yelled back. >> thank you. >> thank you very much for allowing me to your panel. i am most grateful and i just wanted to follow up on a couple things you are speaking about. general allen, when you talk about cyber, we have conversations regularly about social media companies and the
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responsibilities they have and you touched on that but i want to talk about what we don't often talk about, which is those who use those companies to draw people in from the dark web. and with the violence that is promoted there. and how to combat those types of efforts. >> the good news and bad news is we've come so far, out of the dark web, it's out of the dark web. the domains that are used now are across the spectrum. i can rattle off the head had a very eloquent job of concerning the threats coming from the very dark places but the problem is, and the general knows this better that a very
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unsophisticated group but to become very sophisticated very quick and people woke up one day to say how did isis get here and i say that humbly because the person responsible for the fight is sitting to me right. but it didn't just get here, and the level of threat, the level of concern is what we are not seeing. i have a young 26-year-old research person that continuously reminds me of what i'm missing out there. and when you ask for a show of hands within various law enforcement communities and say how many know what 4chan or
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8chan is, it is unfortunate because the people put their manifestoes out there and lay out their plans. not first amendment that planning to kill or maim or destroy because of color of skin or religion so we do need to be more deeply concerned. >> finally, mr. chairman, when you recount the story of whitefish, montana, the community never could have imagined what would happen. the community in squirrel hill never could imagine what would happen the fall with the attack on the jewish community, the
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the chabad in poway. and certainly no one in new york could have imagined a machete wielding attacker walking in during hanukkah celebration but people also could not have imagined and on the streets and in some cases every day. if you could just speak to the terror that that creates in that community, in this case the jewish community, but ultimately why it is the broader community that america as a whole to be genuinely worried about that. >> we have to do a better job at the level of the education of our children of how intolerant we should be of hatred and how we should create
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an environment of education that celebrates the diversity of our community and how civility has to shoot through all that we do and be at the strategic level something with the shaping of the education of our children and those behaviors we would tolerate. and absent of those strategic measure or the legislation that can be passed, we leave large gaps in the field to be filled by those dark forces able to operate with impunity. in iraq, those areas we did not control that we called the coldest space in the room and where they would accumulate. if they are not regulated or have policies attached in those
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areas don't benefit creates cold spots within which those communities can communicate. isolated groups -- it has increased the surface area of these groups. we talk about artificial intelligence and emerging technologies constantly and one of the challenges we have, and this is the unique role of the congress and you have been deeply involved in this and we are grateful for your leadership, but the reality is technology is moving so fast that policy and legislation is always an in trail and sometimes it's years behind, and i just tried to describe a
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few minutes ago that the cyber environment in which this occurs and within which the connectivity can be affected and by which the actions come back out of the physical community in school shootings or in attacks on jewish communities, that's the physical manifestation of things occurring in the cyber domain, yet this is so new to us we have yet to understand that the technology is moving so quickly that the kinds of legislation and policy are necessary to regulate that is far behind so we scratch our heads when we wonder why the social media platforms aren't taking the steps necessary. they're all technicians, so it requires that the american people understand that unless we can generate the kind of controls and legislation of policy necessary to gain control of the cyber domain just as we have done for the physical domain, we will still be scratching our heads because
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we are watching actions and behaviors and levels of hatred unfolding in the cyber domain that we never could have imagined in the physical domain because they were isolated from each other and now they are joined together not just in the united states but with the groups overseas. added to that but just the organizations for those joining overseas, the strategic influence campaign of the russians is aiding this as well, so it's not just group to group, it's the explicit state policy of the russian government to interfere in the democracy and civil society of the united states and the these actions together constitute a direct threat to national security of the united states but much of it is occurring in the cyber domain right up to the point where it becomes a physical threat and then we're behind the curve and a final point, just as technology has given
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the capacity for the groups to attack, there are technologies out there today some young groups, small startups with exquisite algorithms with the capacity to find these organizations in cyberspace because of the means that the use and the code words they employ they leave a cyber trail, and this is what is very important and we had this conversation with the acting secretary on monday he has taken our report and handed it to his department with two weeks to come back. that's extraordinary leadership from my perspective. they will get after this. part of it has got to be that we must aggressively leverage the advances in technology right now that the enemy is using, and they walk amongst us,
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to victimize and attack and kill faith-based communities but more broadly the american public. >> i have spent almost the last decade and the last three years through rutgers university working in the communities across all of europe and i don't know how many of you have traveled to europe as of late but in many cases in germany and the netherlands and france and sweden in other parts you cannot go into the synagogue without crack military troops with long rifles and sandbags in some cases greeting you in barbed wire at the entrance way and these are democratic, wonderful institutions, many of which survived world war ii, so
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that is a canary in a mine and probably a place that we never want to get to in the united states so this ckind of collaborative of work between the dhs and other federal agencies and the communities is probably more critical. thank you for the opportunity to speak. >> my time has long passed, but i want to thank the witnesses and ask a moment when the large jewish community that i represent and throughout america feels under threat, it is your leadership you've shown in calling this hearing with these witnesses to help elevate this issue to the level that it
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deserves and i am most grateful to you. >> thank you for and thank you everything you've done on this issue. two pieces of legislation i'd like to bring to your attention that we're working on, or two project, one is designating the neo-nazi organizations as ftos. second is to raise the bar act. it should be an innovative partnership with the department of homeland security as well as a university to a quarterly basis measure how well the companies fulfill their own code of conduct as it relates to getting the content off their platforms. these are two pieces of legislation that we would like to actively work with you on, and i believe based on your testimony, it seems they are much-needed.
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would you agree? >> absolutely agree. >> 100%. as someone who is working abroad right now and watching these movements grow from the margins to now as acceptable movements within some of these countries, they are communicating here, they are working with some of our actors here so i think there is more of a needed now than ever. >> i want to speak more to the global nature of this and start to disabuse ourselves of the notion that there's something happening in europe or throughout the rest of the world and it is entirely separate from what is happening here. general, you led the fight against iceland. do you see any commonality between the global jihadist
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movement and the global neo-nazi movement? >> i do. i'm not an expert on the subject. i know that the state and al qaeda pretty well, but the behaviors that i have seen leads me to believe that there is a connectivity we should be certain of. this is an area that i would want to focus serious intelligence resources to establish unambiguously that is the term i will use the connectivity between the two. so much of the moment to moment existence is defined by a cyber environment where i have the capacity on an encrypted application to have near real-time video telephone and communications with someone anywhere in the world. the problem we have with the islamic state is because of these applications, they could plan strategically in a
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distributed manner separated by continents they could move by using criminal networks attack locally into the whole as director comey used to call it all in the dark. very difficult to perceive and that kind of conductivity knows no boundaries. it doesn't know mountains were oceans. that kind of connectivity is real-time and instant and organizations that wish us harm and that would attack the jewish community of the united states that are already attacking the jewish community in europe find allies in the united states over the cyber environment and we have left that line of communication open for them so when we think about first designating them as a neo-nazi organization as a foreign terrorist organization, i don't know what the argument
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is. i need to have someone tell me why we wouldn't because in the end, if that organization wishes american interests and citizens and our allies will, which is a big part of why we designate someone as a foreign terrorist organization this seems to me it doesn't require a lot of debate. >> you mentioned earlier you couldn't have conducted the fight against isil without the authority for fto designation or without these organizations label such. can you expand on that? >> let me say that it was quite helpful. doing lessduring most of the fighting against isis, but what they would do is if they are non-american citizens, and most of them are aliens, they can't travel freely.
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when we work through the department of justice had designate when elements come and i will talk about the network which was in the eastern the federally administered tribal areas coming out of the highland. the fto designations for us gave us the capacity to limit the capacity to travel and froze their resources and gave the ability to sanction those that provideed material support to them. that is a very valuable asset and just being on an american list maintained through the state department of being a foreign terrorist organization creates for us connectivity with our allies that is very valuable to us. >> something that i urge you to consider in future reports is that over 17, 000, nearly
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20,000 have gone to fight with th azov batallion from 50 different countries that is more than the number that went to go fight with the mujahedin of the fight of the soviet union's war in afghanistan. i cannot say with certainty, and please correct me if i'm wrong, that we have a system in place right now to track every american going to fight with the azov batallion. is that correct? >> that's not something i can comment on. >> can i have your commitment that in the current capacity advising the homeland security department that this is something you will consider going further? >> absolutely. >> fantastic. thank you so much. first of all for your extraordinary service it goes without saying considering both of your extraordinary experience experience. you do not have to be doing this right now. and it exemplifies both your patriotism and commitment to this country and for that, we are in deep, deep gratitude, thank you for taking the time today.
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>> chairman, thank you for convening this hearing anything more for the additional work you plan to do. this is a direct threat to the american people. thank you for your leadership in dealing with it. >> thank you very much.
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