Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc., deplores the rise in threats and acts of violence perpetrated against Jewish institutions, synagogues and Jewish individuals around the world.
The United States is witnessing an alarming uptick in anti-Semitic incidents, varying from graffiti, hate speech and digital harassment, to bomb threats and Jewish cemetery desecrations. Additionally, white nationalist groups have increased membership and activity, receiving greater attention from the poli tical mainstream. Many of these groups include outspoken neo-Nazis and anti-Semites.
In Europe, anti-Semitic political parties—such as Jobbik in Hungary, Front National in France, Golden Dawn in Greece, Law and Justice Party in Poland, and Svoboda in Ukraine—have caused great concern for local Jewish communities. According to a study by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, many European Jews reported a rise in anti-Semitism in their countries and avoid wearing kippot or other Jewish symbols in public because they fear for their personal safety.
Throughout the Muslim world, political and religious leaders frequently use anti-Semitic vitriol in statements, schools use anti-Semitic curricula, and state sponsored production and distribution of anti-Semitic materials. Hadassah calls on all governments and religious leaders to end practices of incitement and hatred in all forms.
Hadassah commends the UN Secretary General’s vow to be on the front lines in the fight against anti-Semitism, and encourages all UN bodies to join that effort. Hadassah calls on all nations and international bodies to establish or intensify their efforts to track, investigate and prosecute those responsible for anti-Semitic hate crimes. Hadassah also urges political and religious leaders to denounce in the strongest possible terms all anti-Semitic attacks, statements, and propaganda—especially from leaders and communities within their own country or faith.
Hadassah calls on the United States government to:
- Use its resources and influence to urge international leaders to act upon the issue of global anti-Semitism.
- Appoint a new Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism and ensure funding to support the vital work of the State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.
- Enact additional legislation to improve anti-Semitism awareness, education and training.
- Promote collaboration and provide robust funding for the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other government agencies to combat domestic anti-Semitism in all forms.
- Expand congressional efforts, including the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism, to lead initiatives promoting tolerance worldwide, and serve as a platform to educate policymakers on this growing issue.
- Ensure that hate crimes and threats are punished to the fullest extent of the law and strengthen penalties for threats against houses of worship, educational institutions and community centers.
In the face of anti-Semitism, Holocaust and tolerance education is as important as ever. Hadassah urges educators and policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels to promote holocaust education—passing new federal guidelines for instruction and investing in teacher training, n ew and innovative curricula, and other funding and supplementary support.