FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2017 - NEW YORK — The alarming 86% rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the United States was addressed at Hadassah's 2017 National Assembly in St. Louis last week, announced Ellen Hershkin, National President, Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA), the nation's largest Zionist women's organization.
In a strongly-worded Combating Anti-Semitism policy statement 2017, 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;
- Calls on the US Government to 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.
- Calls on all governments and religious leaders to end practices of incitement and hatred in all forms and denounce in the strongest possible terms all anti-Semitic attacks, statements, and propaganda—especially from leaders and communities within their own country or faith.
According to Hershkin, “The United States is witnessing an alarming rise 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 political mainstream. HWZOA deplores the increase in the number of threats and acts of violence perpetrated against Jewish institutions, synagogues and Jews around the world. Anti-Semitism is a hate crime against all of humanity.”
Hadassah urges the United States government to:
- Use its resources and influence to urge international leaders to act upon the issue of global anti-Semitism in the State Department Office and to Monitor and combat anti-Semitism.
- Appoint a new Special Envoy and ensure funding to support this vital work.
- Enact additional legislation to secure 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 significant 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.