Mr. President, DON’T!

Mr. President:

A simple and heartfelt request.

If you choose to engage in racist and discriminatory tropes against Congressional leaders, and to double down your statements because “some agree with you,” do not use Israel and the Jewish State as a wedge to further your point. Doing so lumps Zionism into the wrong side of the arguments about racism.

Sadly, Jews are far too familiar with being categorized as “the other” and being told to “go back to the countries we came from.” These chants made us feel unwelcome, even when we held positions in government, paid equal taxes and wore the colors of our home country with pride. These words hurt our collective soul.

Jewish instincts demand of us to fuse the memory of our history and to love our neighbor, which forces a knee-jerk protest to your xenophobic statements. Categorizing these attacks with the litmus test of Zionism is an abomination to everything the Jewish State stands for. For shame!

Judaism and racism do not jibe and never should. Mr. President, do not weaponize us for your political expediency! It cheapens our rich history and our shared values.

Sincerely,

The Jewish People

About the Author
David-Seth Kirshner is the senior rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, a Conservative synagogue in Closter, New Jersey. He is the past President of the NY Board of Rabbis, President of the NJ Board of Rabbis and a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Hartman Institute. Rabbi Kirshner was appointed to the New Jersey/Israel commission and is a member of the Chancellor's Rabbinic Cabinet at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
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