(Washington, D.C., March 7, 2019)—B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
While we are encouraged that the House of Representatives finally passed a resolution decrying anti-Semitism, we are dismayed and troubled that it was not a stand-alone resolution. Although the House originally planned to vote on plain language condemning anti-Semitism in general and the specific anti-Semitic canard that American Jews harbor dual loyalties toward Israel and the United States - a charge recently implied by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) in a series of controversial statements condemned by House leadership - the language in the House resolution has been expanded to vaguely condemn bigotry in general.
While the resolution that was adopted addresses vile prejudices that should be fought against, we’re incredulous that in the 21st century, a stand-alone condemnation of anti-Semitism and dual loyalty in the United States Congress could not be crafted and quickly adopted. Anti-Semitism is an age-old social illness that is clearly on the rise. We have seen countless manifestations of it in the U.S. and abroad, in the form of assaults against Jewish institutions and individuals and the mainstreaming of anti-Semitic stereotypes – even in the U.S. Congress – that feed anti-Israel hatred.
Folding anti-Semitism into a package of other social phobias is not a means of addressing the problem; it’s a way of avoiding the problem. Anti-Semitism merits its own resolution; the failure of the House to pass one diminishes the threat that anti-Semitism poses and has the look of an action taken for the sake of expediency.
We call on Congress to immediately pass a resolution unambiguously condemning anti-Semitism, without qualifiers that water down the resolution’s intent.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org
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