Below is Zioness’s letter to elected officials, urging them to stand with the Jewish community against vitriolic antisemitism. You can use this version, or personalize your letter here.
This past week, the American Jewish community, like Jews the world over, has experienced an astronomical rise in antisemitism and anti-Jewish hate crimes. Jews have felt vulnerable in ways that were previously unimaginable, as anti-Jewish bigotry of various forms has flourished on social media, within our progressive movements, and even on the floor of the United States Congress. We need to hear from our national leaders, on their national platforms, that they stand with the Jewish community against all forms of antisemitism, including the denial of the Jewish people’s right to national self-determination. No matter what one thinks about the politics or policies of the state of Israel, denying its legitimate existence or calling for it to be wiped off the map is explicit antisemitism, and it endangers millions of Jewish lives.
We are devastated at the loss of Israeli and Palestinian lives as a result of this recent round of violence, and we pray for an enduring peace between Israel and her neighbors. But the way that Jews are being viciously targeted because of a geopolitical conflict halfway around the world is extremely alarming. Every time we open our social media, we are bombarded with painful lies and distortions that reduce our lived experience, erase the history of our people, equate our collective Jewish existence with white supremacy, state violence, ethnic cleansing, and genocide. There is perverse irony in that half of the Jewish population of the world has been wiped out by these depravities––in living memory.
These are blood libels, easily disprovable, transparent lies, that literally put a target on the backs of individual Jews who are experiencing not only profound intergenerational trauma, but also intense fear that their family members and friends in Israel are living under incessant, indiscriminate rocket fire by a terrorist organization whose charter explicitly calls for another genocide of Jews, no matter where they live. It is shocking, but not surprising to us, that the United Kingdom has experienced a 250% rise in antisemitic hate crimes over the last week alone; that synagogues in America are being vandalized with Nazi symbols; that marches organized ostensibly to support Palestinian self-determination––an urgent and worthy cause––have devolved into pro-Hitler chants and calls to rape Jewish women.
There are only 16 million Jews left in the world. We make up 2% of the population of the United States, and .2%––yes, one-fifth of one percent––of the population of the world. We are a progressive community which has always been deeply committed to the fight for social, racial, economic, gender and environmental justice, and we will continue to stand proudly in the fight for equity and equality in America as part of our Jewish mandate. Yet, we are traumatized that the world is silent when our tiny, historically-oppressed minority community is facing such cruel, extreme, and dangerous targeting. Over the last week, people with massively influential platforms, including elected officials, reaching hundreds of millions of Americans, have pushed forward dangerously antisemitic ideas that mirror the same historical tropes that have led to the slaughter of Jewish communities around the world. Far too few have spoken up to push back on these narratives––a profound failure that endangers the lives of Jews everywhere on earth. It is no wonder the Jewish people are so staunchly committed to the security of the Jewish state, which serves as the only guarantee that there will be a Jewish future.
We need our elected leaders to use your voices and platforms to combat antisemitism and stand in solidarity with our community today. Please, speak out––before American Jews experience something even worse.