Monday, June 14, 2021

Condemning Antisemitism Alone

The Senate just passed S. Res. 252, "A resolution unequivocally condemning the recent rise in antisemitic violence and harassment targeting Jewish Americans, and standing in solidarity with those affected by antisemitism." The resolution, spearheaded by Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), was broadly bipartisan and passed by voice vote.

I've heard very little about this resolution -- in particular, I've heard much less than I've heard complaints over the last few years that politicians don't condemn antisemitism or don't condemn antisemitism "alone" because they link it to condemnations of Islamophobia, racism, or other forms of oppression. I don't find the latter move as offensive as some do, but in any case this resolution is exclusively about antisemitism -- no "and all forms of racism" language here. I hope that the quietude around the resolution is not because certain persons prefer complaining about Jews allegedly being left to fend for ourselves around antisemitism than they do acknowledging when America's political institutions do, in fact, come to support us in the face of antisemitism.

In terms of specifics, the resolution expressly ties the recent surge in antisemitism to the surge in hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. It also notes a Department of Homeland Security report that concludes that White Supremacist terrorists "will remain the most persistent and lethal threat" to domestic security. It cites instances of antisemitism by prominent politicians in Turkey and Pakistan relating to Israel, as well as the spread of COVID-19 related conspiracy theories, Holocaust denial and distortion, and hate crime spikes. There could be more. There always could be more. But objectively speaking, this is a comprehensive condemnation of antisemitism as it manifests across the political and ideological spectrum.

I thank Senator Rosen for her leadership on this issue, and be grateful that it passed the Senate with seemingly little consternation or conflict. And hopefully, the next time we are tempted by the thought that America turns a blind eye to antisemitism or refuses to condemn it or refuses to condemn it "alone", we remember this resolution.

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