WASHINGTON – In response to the introduction of a resolution in the House of Representatives condemning anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the wider Reform Movement institutions:
“We welcome today’s House resolution condemning anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bigotry and other forms of hate. Importantly, the resolution makes clear that these hatreds, though centuries old, feed on and legitimize each other, inflamed in our time by forces on the left and right. There is no place for these, or any form of hate in our society, no matter the source.
“It is especially significant that this resolution is unequivocal in its condemnation of anti-Semitism in all forms. The growing levels of anti-Semitism in the U.S. and around the world are of deep concern. Attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions are on the rise and range from swastikas drawn on JCCs to the horrific murders of 11 worshippers at Tree of Life Synagogue last October. Insinuations about Jewish influence over media, finance, politics or other realms, as well as charges of ‘dual loyalty’ among American Jews, also perpetuate age old tropes that have led to violence and death. Today, criticism of Israel that in some instances can be legitimate political disagreement in other instances crosses the line into anti-Semitic questioning of Israel’s right to exist.
“These issues are sensitive and complex. We recognize that there can also be a difference between the way words are intended and the ways they are heard. At this time of great delicacy and import, we hope passage of this House resolution will be a vital step toward healing and reflect the stalwart support across the House’s spectrum of race and faith to acting in solidarity against anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bigotry, and hate wherever it is found.”
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.