Statement on Addressing Antisemitism following
A coordinated campaign of antisemitism marred the annual Florida-Georgia football game played in Jacksonville on October 29, 2022. Signage on highway overpasses leading to and from the Jaguars stadium as well as laser projected messaging at the stadium brazenly denigrated Jewish people. Law enforcement did not intervene. Key publicly elected leaders, including the mayor of Jacksonville and the governor of Florida, both of whom attended the event, did not immediately condemn this antisemitism. Whatever their personal convictions, public officials must speak clearly and without equivocation when such acts of hatred and intolerance are publicly expressed in their presence. Not to condemn the unacceptable when it happens is to give the unacceptable endorsement to spread virally in social media.
As a widely diverse group of faith and religious leaders, we the undersigned find it is critically and existentially important in a free and civil society to speak against antisemitism as well any form of denigration of people based on their religion, origin, gender, language, or physical appearance. With the freedom for us all to pursue our personal interests also comes the responsibility for us all to respect the rights of other in not doing them harm. World religions have long expressed this ideal in their various ways of promoting the Golden Rule: “to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Antisemitism and hate speech causes harm and is intended to do harm whenever it is used publicly. Hate speech triggers violence when left unchecked. The realities of such violence are very much before the nation in news headlines that have spanned every corner of the country. The first to speak must be the elected leaders in the highest offices where incidents of hate occur.
We pledge in our own ministries, churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, missions, and agencies to teach and speak out about how antisemitism and other forms of hate speech both harm our neighbor and create an environment in which we too could become similar targets. The genius of the United States of America arises in the pluralistic society it makes possible. We call upon all public officials and political parties to express publicly their support for this pluralism. Without such a clear statement of our common values, the freedoms we all cherish are endangered.Click for more: Confronting Anti-Semitism