Schumer Calls Upon Americans To Reject Anti-Semitism

Recently, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) took to the pages of The New York Times and to the Senate floor to urge Americans to stand with Jewish Americans and against hatred and anti-Semitism.

The continuing war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip has led to pro-Israeli protest activity and pro-Palestinian protest activity in the United States. Sadly, it has also revealed an ugly strain of anti-Semitism—especially among young Americans. After Hamas’s brutal and cowardly October 7 attack on Israel, 33 Harvard University student groups penned a letter labeling Israel as an “apartheid regime” and asserting that Israel was responsible for the Hamas attack. According to The New York Times, the number of reported anti-Semitic incidents in New York City in October 2023 was triple the number of similar incidents reported in October 2022. As Albany Update recently noted, a riot featuring anti-Semitic rhetoric directed at a Jewish teacher broke out at a Queens high school on November 20. Unfortunately, anti-Muslim activity has also been on the upswing in the U.S. since October 7.

Sen. Schumer is the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in the United States. In his November 30 speech, he stated that “‘Jewish Americans are feeling singled out, targeted and isolated.’” He also noted “Jews represent only 2% of the U.S. population but are the target of 55% of all religion-based hate crimes registered by the FBI.”

In a November 29, 2023 opinion piece, the Senator asserted that “too many Americans are exploiting arguments against Israel and leaping toward a virulent antisemitism.” Sen. Schumer explained that historically, attacks against Jews can become widespread if they are not denounced. The Senator correctly noted that disagreement with Israel’s policies is not necessarily anti-Semitic; however, he added that “when criticism against Israel is allowed to cross over into something different—into a denial of the Jewish state in any form, into open calls for the very destruction of Israel…that is an example of the discriminatory double standard Jewish people have always found so hurtful.” Accordingly, Sen. Schumer “implore[d] every person and every community and every institution to stand with Jewish Americans and to denounce antisemitism in all of its forms.”

At New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, we do not agree with Sen. Schumer very often. However, his recent speech and op-ed are two of the best things we have ever seen him do. The Senator is right to call on all Americans to support the Jewish community during this period of great turbulence, and we join him in standing against anti-Semitism. At this time (and at all times), Christians should seek opportunities to be peacemakers and should boldly speak out against hatred—whether that hatred is directed at Jews or at Muslims.

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