March 30, 2024

JCPA at the White House

JCPA CEO Amy Spitalnick was invited to give featured remarks at a White House roundtable on countering hate-fueled violence, speaking about how the fight for Jewish safety is inextricably linked with all communities’ safety and our democracy. Her remarks can be found below.

As a member of Bedrock’s National Leadership Council, Amy joined colleagues who are part of this new bipartisan effort focused on overcoming lines of difference to combat hate and extremism. The White House readout on the meeting is available here, and Bedrock’s joint statement can be found here.

Good morning, and thank you so much for having us here today.

I don’t need to remind everyone that we’re coming together at a moment of record levels of hate and extremism, from rising hate crimes targeting communities across this country, to a cycle of white supremacist mass shootings, to the mainstreaming of conspiracy theories and broader extremism.

And in the last five and a half months, that record-level hate has been compounded by a new wave of bigotry unleashed after October 7th — specifically targeting the Jewish communities, as well as Muslims and Arab Americans.

Too often, this hate and extremism is treated in a silo. Zero-sum, all-of-nothing frameworks perpetuate the idea that fighting one form of hate and extremism somehow takes away from the fight against another.

But bigots and extremists don’t operate in silos.

Antisemitic conspiracy theories rooted in lies about “invasion” and “replacement” don’t just lead to the murder of Jews – but also target the Latino, Black, Muslim, and other communities. Neo-Nazis with swastikas mobilize against the LGBTQ community. And cynical actors of all backgrounds use antisemitism and other forms of hate to divide the very coalitions we need to be building right now.

And so we can’t afford to operate in silos either.

I know that safety as a Jewish woman is inextricably linked with all of yours. Because of the insidious way antisemitism operates — not just making Jews unsafe, but serving as a conspiracy theory aimed at driving wedges between our communities and sowing distrust – and violent action against – our institutions and our democracy. And because history has shown us that Jews are safest in inclusive, pluralistic democracies in which all communities are safe and free.

So the only path forward is one that recognizes the urgency of not just dialogue and bridge-building between communities — but real coalition-building in pursuit of our shared safety and future.

This requires a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach from the federal level down to the state and local levels: protecting and strengthening fundamental civil rights; combating disinformation and extremism; holding violent extremists to account; fighting dehumanizing rhetoric and policies against any community.

This won’t be easy. The most extreme voices are working to pit our communities against one another, to make us feel alone at every turn.

But this convening is a reason for optimism. The White House’s focus on this crisis is another reason for optimism. And it’s going to take all of us to mobilize our communities and move along each and every necessary stakeholder.

I’m looking forward to getting to work with all of you.

Thank you.

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