Bend the Arc opposes government use of IHRA definition of antisemitism

Bend the Arc opposes government use of IHRA definition of antisemitism

January 26, 2021

Monday, January 25
Contact: Logan Smith
[email protected]

Bend the Arc opposes government use of IHRA definition of antisemitism
Attempts to codify a definition of antisemitism are a diversion from the real threats we face

WASHINGTON – Bend the Arc: Jewish Action released the following statement on Monday regarding the IHRA definition of antisemitism and attempts to codify it into law:

“As an organization committed to dismantling antisemitism, we don’t believe this approach to defining antisemitism is what will actually build safety for the Jewish community,” said Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action. “We know that to confront the increase in antisemitic violence we need to confront those responsible for using antisemitism to manufacture fear and division, not legalize definitions that serve as diversions from the threats we face.”

“We need a multi-pronged approach that uses the existing tools of government as well as structural reforms that ensure a thriving and inclusive democracy where every single one of us is safe, no matter our race, class, or faith. That’s why we’ve made recommendations to the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to address white nationalist infiltration of law enforcement and update old, disproven theories of radicalization, and calling on Congress to pass laws that strengthen the inclusive nature of our democracy, which will ultimately build safety for our entire community.”

Over the past five years of increased threats against Jewish people, Muslim people, immigrant communities, and people of color, Bend the Arc has been a national leader in the Jewish community in the fight against antisemitism, xenophobia, and white nationalism. We have educated communities and organizations across the country about how antisemitism is used in our current political environment; the historic and current connections between antisemitism and Islamophobia, xenophobia, and racism; and unified ways to fight against white nationalism and for an inclusive, multiracial democracy. 

In 2019, Bend the Arc collaborated with Public Research Associates to release a report: Taking Aim at Multiracial Democracy: Antisemitism, White Nationalism, and Anti-Immigrant Racism in the Era of Trump, which examines the manufacturing and amplification of conspiracy theories that inspired the deadliest antisemitic attack in American history.  In 2020, we launched, an online resource exposing how rightwing politicians and extremists endanger Jews by using antisemitism to fuel fear and division.

Bend the Arc: Jewish Action is uniting a movement of tens of thousands of progressive Jews across the country who are fighting for justice and equality for all. We are the only national Jewish organization focused exclusively on social change in the United States.