I don’t need to tell you that we’re facing a crisis of antisemitism.
What was already dire before October 7th has become even more horrific – taking various forms over the past eight weeks:
- Conspiracy theories about Jewish or Zionist control of our institutions and government.
- The gaslighting of Jews and others as to what happened on October 7th – denying the well-documented murder, rape, and kidnapping of Israelis, Americans, and others by Hamas – or labeling this terrorism as legitimate “resistance.”
- The direct targeting of Jewish people, synagogues, businesses, and other institutions as “retribution,” seeking to hold the Jewish people collectively responsible for the actions of the Israeli government.
Just this weekend alone we saw non-credible bomb threats against a slew of synagogues; the cancellation of a menorah lighting ceremony that had nothing to do with Israel; and the targeting of Jewish-owned businesses by people protesting Israel. Make no mistake: this is antisemitism.
All of this – combined with the continued normalization of antisemitic conspiracy theories and hate by certain elected officials, pundits, and others – creates a toxic situation that jeopardizes Jews, so many other communities, and our democracy.
But here’s where I find hope: we are not alone. Some of the loudest voices may seek to isolate and alienate our community, to pit Jewish safety against that of others. Yet our leaders and allies are showing up.
The Biden administration has led with deep moral clarity in the fight against antisemitism starting long before October 7th, including with the historic National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism released in May. Since October 7th, I’ve been privileged to join meetings with the President, the Second Gentleman, the Attorney General, the FBI Director, the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and many others – and every single one of them has made clear their deep support for our community in this moment of pain and fear.
And just last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer – the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in American history – gave a truly remarkable speech on the Senate floor.
“No matter what our beliefs are, no matter where we stand on the war in Gaza, all of us must condemn antisemitism with full-throated clarity whenever we see it, before it metastasizes into something even worse,” Majority Leader Schumer said.
From the White House, to the Senate Majority Leader, to leaders and partners around the country, we are not alone in the fight against antisemitism.
That doesn’t mean we don’t need to keep ringing the alarm bells, to call out antisemitism wherever it exists, and to continue building broad coalitions to fight hate and protect our democracy. That’s precisely what we’ll continue to do at JCPA – and we’re so grateful for your support and partnership at this critical moment.
All my best,
P.S. As always, we can’t do this work without your support. If you’d like to make a donation to JCPA at this critical time, you can do so here.