I wanted to address the horror that many of us feel in the wake of recent anti-Semitic remarks made by Kanye West and anti-Semitic banners that were unfurled by a white supremacist group over the 405 freeway in Los Angeles last Saturday. Anti-Semitism is one of the oldest, most pervasive forms of systemic oppression used to persecute Jews, and it is terrifying.
It employs mendacious, dehumanizing, and demonizing attacks against Jews that are manifested in speech, writing, visual depictions, and violence – including inflicting bodily harm, destroying Jewish community institutions and religious facilities or individual properties.
Anti-Semitism is on the rise right now and becoming accepted in mainstream culture. Jews make up 2.4% of the U.S. population, yet, according to the latest FBI study, over 60% of all religiously motivated hate crimes target the Jewish community.
I stand with the Jewish community and its allies in condemning these abhorrent behaviors. This spate of anti-Semitic vitriol is dangerous and cannot be normalized or tolerated. As we’ve learned from history, physical violence often follows these ugly verbal assaults.
To any of you who are directly or indirectly impacted by what’s happened, my heart goes out to you.