Bend the Arc: Proposed House Resolution on Antisemitism is Not the Solution We Need

Bend the Arc: Proposed House Resolution on Antisemitism is Not the Solution We Need

March 04, 2019

New York – Following reports of an upcoming vote in the U.S. House on a “resolution condemning antisemitism” in response to recent comments by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ginna Green, Chief Strategy Officer of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, released the following statement:

“We agree on the urgent need to ensure the safety and security of Jewish communities, and we appreciate Democratic lawmakers’ intentions to stand against anti-Jewish bigotry. At the same time, we are deeply concerned that the timing of this resolution plays directly into the hands of right-wing Republicans targeting all of our communities. It is not part of a solution that will keep us all safe.

“We call on Congress to pass a resolution condemning the antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism, and xenophobia that endangers our communities, our families, and our lives.

“House Democrats are introducing this resolution at the same time as a bad-faith, coordinated right-wing smear campaign against Rep. Ilhan Omar. Choosing to introduce this resolution without condemning Islamophobia, just days after Rep. Omar was directly targeted with anti-Muslim rhetoric linking her to terrorism, is not only wrong, it is counter-productive.

“Antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism, and xenophobia support and reinforce each other. We cannot combat antisemitism by embracing or enabling Islamophobia. We can’t fight antisemitism without fighting anti-immigrant xenophobia. We can’t fight antisemitism without fighting racism. And we definitely can’t fight antisemitism by embracing bad-faith politics. Those politicians who rush to condemn Rep. Omar but ignore the racism and stereotyping flowing from their own party are engaging in bad faith politics at its worst.

“Democrats are walking right into a trap set by Republicans, and we can’t afford to do so.

“Where are the condemnations of Jim Jordan, who just yesterday tweeted an antisemitic dog whistle to distract from his defense of Trump's corruption? Where are the condemnations of GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy, who amplified the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jews like George Soros are controlling our elections? Where were the condemnations when he did this just days after a bombing attempt on Soros and just days before the Pittsburgh shooting?

“Where are the condemnations of Jim Hagedorn, whose campaign relied on antisemitic and racist imagery to win a seat in the House, and who continued to run such an ad even after the Pittsburgh shooting?

“And where are the condemnations of President Trump, who continued to peddle conspiracies about Soros and immigration in the 2018 midterm election, the same conspiracies that had motivated the Pittsburgh shooter to pull the trigger?

“As Jews, we know the pain of antisemitism, the fear it instills, and the violence it causes. To our Jewish community feeling hurt and pain: we hear you. And to our Muslim neighbors feeling hurt and pain, we see you and we hear you too. Together we will continue to build an America where we are all safe and protected, and a democracy where we are all able to live, love, and thrive.”