April 29 has been proclaimed #EndJewHatred Day in the 38th State Senate District of New York.
Most years – this one included – April 29 lands fairly close to Israel’s birthday.
74 years ago, Israel declared her independence. 74 years ago, Jews rose up from the ashes of the Holocaust to found our own nation, recognized by the world as a Jewish home.
74 years later we are still fighting the same battles.
For 74 years (and thousands more) the Jewish community has been subjected to Jew-hatred – discrimination and violence targeting us for our religious, cultural, ethnic, and national identities. Taken further, those who hate us for who we are also deny and appropriate our history, including our indigenous connection to our ancestral homeland. Jews are targeted in the workplace for their Zionist identities, which is intrinsic to their cultural, ethnic, and religious beliefs.
Just last week, Representative Rashida Tlaib led a group of progressives in introducing a resolution that would identify Palestinian Arabs as the “indigenous inhabitants” of Israel, endorsing the right of “return” for Arabs which has been a hot button issue in the conflict for years. The resolution would also force the US to recognize what Arabs call Nakba — the mass exodus of Arabs following the Israeli War of Independence that they refer to as a catastrophe. Jarringly, the resolution does not acknowledge any Jewish history in the region.
Despite the outrage that we feel when our religious and cultural heritage is attacked, as Jews we keep our heads held high, always endeavoring to better ourselves and the world around us. Time and again we have fought against discrimination and bigotry, participating prominently in virtually every civil rights effort featured throughout the American experience.
The Jewish community has been front and center in advocating for social, economic, and political causes of every kind. We have helped achieve results for racial justice and gender equality, and for minority rights movements that have altered the public discourse.
We have stood up for every oppressed community that has demanded justice and equality. Now it’s our turn.
#EndJewHatred is a grassroots civil rights movement working to eliminate Jew-hatred through peaceful direct action and education. Our goal is to ensure that the civil and human rights of the Jewish people are protected by law, allowing us to enjoy full and equal inclusion in society.
Jews face not only antisemitism but also the brunt of anti-Israel politics. While Jews around the country are being attacked on the streets for “looking Jewish,” Jewish students across college campuses are attacked in retaliation for the so-called Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
#EndJewHatred works to alter public discourse and make Jew-hatred unacceptable in contemporary society, empowering Jews with positivity and strength to discover and enjoy their heritage without fear of attack or persecution.
Steps like the one taken by Senator Reichlin-Melnick of NY, declaring the first-ever #EndJewHatred Day, are bringing these issues to the forefront by forcing recognition of systemic problems that must be addressed. But no one will come to our rescue unless we help ourselves.
Now is the time for us to stand up and empower ourselves, and to demand a world in which Jew-hatred is unacceptable. We have fought for the rights of so many others, and we call on them to stand up and fight alongside us.
On #EndJewHatred Day and every day that follows we draw from the strength of those who came before us to ensure that the discrimination and violence that our people have faced for far too long ends here.
On #EndJewHatred Day, we contemplate the promise of a better tomorrow achieved by defeating systemic racism and bigotry today.
On #EndJewHatred Day we commit to working together to achieve a brighter future for us all, where Jew-hatred is as unacceptable in society as every other form of racism and bigotry.
Stand up and join us today for a better tomorrow.