U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) has signed onto the Never Again Education Act that, if enacted, would create a grant program at the U.S. Department of Education to enable teachers across the United States the resources and training necessary to teach students about the Holocaust and its lessons.
Introduced in February by Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), it currently has 235 co-sponsors—168 Democrats and 67 Republicans.
“We are at a dangerous moment in time. Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world and here at home, and the memory of the Holocaust is fading for far too many Americans,” said Maloney. “We can combat this by making sure we teach our students, tomorrow’s leaders, about the horrors of the Holocaust. It is simply not enough to condemn hateful, violent attacks against the Jewish community—we need to be proactive; we need to take action.”
“Over the last few years, a concerning amount of anti-Semitic incidents have occurred in our country,” said Stefanik. “My hope is that this bill will combat the rise of this inexcusable behavior by further educating our nation’s students on the unthinkable and innumerable atrocities of the Holocaust. As a nation, we cannot allow a return to the hateful actions that led to the Holocaust, and I’m proud to do my part to change it.”
The Senate version was introduced earlier this month by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).
Omar’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
In addition to co-sponsoring the House bill, Omar introduced a resolution earlier this month affirming the right to boycott countries. W
hile it does not explicitly mention Israel, the freshman congresswoman told Al-Monitor shortly before filing it, “We are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights in regard to boycotting. And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”
Other members who are co-sponsoring that and the Never Again Education Act include Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Donald Payne, Jr. (D-N.J.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Andre Carson (D-Ind.), James McGovern (D-Mass.), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Mark DeSaulnier (D-Texas) and Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), whose brother, former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.