Rabbis Thank Four Democratic ‘Lone Voices’ Bucking Party Silence on Antisemitism
May 30, 2021

Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing over 1500 traditional, Orthodox rabbis in American public policy, today commended four House Democrats—Reps. Josh Gottheimer (NJ), Kathy Manning (NC), Dean Phillips (MN), and Elaine Luria (VA)—for rejecting the silence of Democratic House leadership to call for action against antisemitism. In a letter sent last week to President Biden, the four signatories both stated the need for an “all-of-government effort to combat rising antisemitism,” and repudiated accusations of “apartheid” or “terrorism” leveled against Israel as “antisemitic at their core.”

“Hateful rhetoric against Jews has increased since the ‘The Squad’—Reps. Ilhan Omar (MN), Rashida Tlaib (MI), Ayanna Pressley (MA), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) first arrived in Congress in 2019,” said CJV Western Regional Vice President Rabbi Dov Fischer. “What we see now is a Republican leadership anxious to condemn statements that lack sensitivity, while their Democratic counterparts are giving blatant hatred a pass. An ‘all-of-government effort’ will require Democrats to expunge the bigotry that has been permitted to fester within their ranks, and these four Representatives should be commended for speaking out.”

CJV expressed understanding of the letter’s attempt at bipartisan criticism, but dismissed insensitive Holocaust analogies, whether regarding mask and vaccination requirements or otherwise, as sharing none of the obvious bigotry of the remarks against Jews and Israel also documented in the letter. It is the hateful bias shared both by The Squad and at “pro-Palestinian” demonstrations, the rabbis observed, which now motivates violent attacks against Jews in American cities and creates the “climate… hostile to many Jews” the letter decries.

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“When a person claims that the world’s only country with Jewish and Arab government officials, members of legislature and Supreme Court Justices is an ‘apartheid’ state,” said Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, Chairman of CJV’s Rabbinic Circle, “the hate and demonization are obvious.

“We understand that the writers, all Democrats, had to castigate Members on both sides for political reasons. Yet despite their doing so, these four Jewish Representatives were unable to get any fellow Democrats, or even one from outside the Jewish community, to join them. That silence carries a frightful message. The Democratic party must do more, and do so immediately, to reverse the tide of antisemitic hatred now sweeping the country.”

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