Congresswoman Elaine Luria joins group asking President Biden to fight anti-Semitism

by | May 27, 2021 | Trending News

A group of moderates, including Congresswoman Elaine Luria, sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Tuesday, May 25, condemning a series of comments they deem as anti-Semitic.

They write: “We are deeply disturbed by the recent surge of antisemitic incidents in the United States. We appreciate your Administration’s commitment to combat antisemitism in all its forms by continuing to work with us to address this scourge. We also know that this issue is deeply important to you and your family.

“We believe we need a united, all-of-government effort to combat rising antisemitism in this country.” The letter then details incidents across the country.

The letter continues: “It is undeniable that this increase in antisemitic incidents has coincided with recent conflict in the Middle East. It must be made clear that there is simply no excuse whatsoever for harassing or targeting people because they are Jewish. Blaming Jews for conflict in the Middle East or seeking to hold them collectively responsible for Israel’s government policies is antisemitic, and it is wrong. Given that Jews in Europe and around the world have faced a similar increase in threats in recent weeks coinciding with the conflict, we also urge you to swiftly nominate an experienced and qualified United States Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.”

Without using specific names, the letter calls out members of Congress of both parties: “At the same time, elected officials have used reckless, irresponsible antisemitic rhetoric. These include repeated, unacceptable, and blatantly antisemitic statements made by a Member of Congress comparing facemasks and other COVID-19 public health measures to “what happened in Nazi Germany” during the Holocaust.

“We also reject comments from Members of Congress accusing Israel of being an “apartheid state” and committing “act[s] of terrorism.” These statements are antisemitic at their core and contribute to a climate that is hostile to many Jews. We must never forget that less than eighty years ago, within the lifetime of our parents and grandparents, six million people were murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust because they were Jews. Israel has long provided the Jewish people with a home-land in which they can be safe after facing centuries of persecution.

“Sadly, we have learned from our history that when this type of violence and inflammatory rhetoric goes unaddressed, it can fuel increasing hatred and violence, and lead to unspeakable acts against Jews.

That is why we need a united, bipartisan, national-level commitment to confront and address the threat of antisemitism head-on. Antisemitism is wrong, and it deserves to be unequivocally condemned by all.”

The letter is signed by Representatives Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Kathy Manning (D-N.C.), Elaine G. Luria (D-Va.), and Dean Phillips (D-Minn.).