Fortenberry Statement on One Year Anniversary of House ISIS Genocide Resolution

Mar 14, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C.– Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) today issued the following statement on the one year anniversary of his genocide resolution, which passed the United States House of Representatives by a vote of 393-0:

“One year ago today, the House of Representatives spoke with a united voice to name and decry the horrific ISIS violence against Christians, Yezidis, and others as ‘genocide.’ Three days later, on March 17, Secretary of State John Kerry came to the same conclusion on behalf of the United States Government. The United States has spoken with clarity and moral authority to condemn this grave violation of life and order. This week offers an important opportunity to commemorate the occasion and refocus efforts to help those in dire need.

“The genocide resolution and subsequent United States Government recognition elevated international consciousness and confronted the scandal of silence and indifference about ISIS’ targeted and systematic destruction of these endangered peoples. The genocide against Christians, Yezidis and minority Muslim communities is not only a grave injustice to theses ancient faith traditions—it is an assault on human dignity and civilization itself.

“I will continue working on policy initiatives to help those confronting genocide. Successful efforts to support them will help bring stability to the Middle East, benefiting both persons in need and, ultimately, America’s national security. The rich, religiously diverse tapestry of the Middle East will be restored only if Christians, Yezidis, and others are empowered to once again take their rightful place.”

In September 2015, Fortenberry along with Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) introduced H. Con. Res. 75 in the House. Following the unanimous vote behind the resolution, Fortenberry spoke on the floor of the House urging the State Department to include both Christians and Yezidis in a genocide designation.

Earlier, Fortenberry made the case for recognizing  the genocide in the Middle East during an exchange with Secretary of State John Kerry at a hearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. Fortenberry pleaded for a comprehensive genocide designation that encompasses these ethnic and religious communities, which are facing brutal persecution in the region.

Fortenberry serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. He represents America’s largest Yezidi community. Along with Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA), he is co-chair of the Religious Minorities of the Middle East Caucus and represents America’s largest Yezidi community.