For Progressive Democrats, anti-Semitism is the same as other forms of hate – J.
As reports of attacks on Jews surfaced late last week, Democratic lawmakers were quick to condemn anti-Semitism – but they didn’t stop there.
“We have recently witnessed disturbing anti-Semitic attacks and a disturbing rise in Islamophobia,” Bernie Sanders, Jewish senator from Vermont, leader of the American progressives, tweeted friday. “If you are committed to a future of equality and peaceful coexistence, please unite against anyone who encourages hatred of any kind.”
We have recently witnessed worrying anti-Semitic attacks and a worrying rise in Islamophobia. If you are committed to a future of equality and peaceful coexistence, please unite against anyone who encourages hatred of any kind.
– Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 22, 2021
Many other progressives quickly followed suit, including several members of “The Squad” in the US House of Representatives.
“The work of dismantling anti-Semitism, anti-darkness, Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian racism and all other forms of hatred is OUR work,” Representative Cori Bush of Missouri tweeted.
The work of dismantling anti-Semitism, anti-darkness, Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian racism and all other forms of hatred is OUR work.
We will ONLY achieve collective liberation by leading with radical love. There is no place for hatred of any kind in our movements for justice.
– Cori Bush (@CoriBush) May 22, 2021
Representative Jamaal Bowman from New York wrote, “We have seen an increase in anti-Semitic and Islamophobic hatred, in New York City and across the country – hate speech, hate crimes and other forms of violence.” And Rep. Ayanna Pressley from Massachusetts tweeted, “I strongly condemn the rise in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia that we are seeing across the country.”
We have seen an increase in anti-Semitic and Islamophobic hatred, in New York City and across the country – hate speech, hate crimes and other forms of violence.
We must be united in condemning hatred.
– Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) May 21, 2021
The trend continued throughout the weekend and this week.
“Anti-Semitism has no place in our country or in the world. Islamophobia neither, ”Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts tweeted Tuesday evening. “It means standing together and condemning all forms of bigotry and hatred.”
Anti-Semitism has no place in our country or in the world.
It means standing together and condemning all forms of bigotry and hatred.
– Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) May 25, 2021
The posts were all aimed at reported attacks as Israel and Hamas in Gaza battled a conflict in which more than 250 Palestinians and a dozen Israelis were killed. In New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere, violent attacks on Jews were filmed. Meanwhile, the mosques Brooklyn and on Long island were vandalized.
Halie Soifer, who heads the Jewish Democratic Council of America, said she understood the impetus to condemn all kinds of bigotry, but warned that this may have the effect of reducing the threat posed by a type of bigotry such as anti-Semitism.
“There should be no tolerance for hatred in any form, and Jewish Democrats strongly condemn intolerance aimed at any racial, ethnic or religious minority,” Soifer told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “At the same time, there are unique root causes of anti-Semitism that need to be addressed, and for this reason, we advise against confusing or grouping this distinct form of hatred with another.”
Why Sanders chose to frame his tweet the way he did and whether the Democrats’ messages were coordinated is unclear. His office did not respond to a request for comment.
But his approach is not unusual among progressives, who see bigotry not as separate but as stemming from the same toxic tendencies, and Sanders has explained his thinking in the past.
“Like other forms of bigotry – racism, sexism, homophobia – anti-Semitism is used by the right to divide people from one another and to prevent us from fighting together for a shared future of equality, peace, prosperity and environmental justice ”, Sanders written in 2019 in Jewish Currents, a left-wing magazine.
Some Jewish commentators have expressed their displeasure at seeing anti-Semitism confused with other fanaticisms, comparing it to the “All Lives Matter” crackdown among conservatives against the Black Lives Matter movement, an attitude progressives insult.
“@SenSanders, all lives mattered to Jews,” Anne Herzberg, human rights lawyer at the NGO Monitor, mentionned on Twitter this week.
– AnneHerzberg (@ AnneHerzberg14) May 22, 2021
A number of Democrats, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive leader who sharply criticized Israel this month, have issued statements exclusively condemning anti-Semitism. Ocasio-Cortez also offered practical advice on how New Yorkers can support their Jewish neighbors.
“We will never, ever tolerate anti-Semitism here in New York or anywhere in the world,” she said on Twitter. “The recent wave of attacks is horrific. We stand alongside our Jewish communities to condemn this violence. You can help. Take the free hour-long intervention class in New York City. “
But some said they wanted more. Representative Dean Phillips, a Jewish Democrat from Minnesota, had some advice for his progressive colleagues: Don’t be equivocal about the attacks on Jews.
“I’m going to say the quiet part out loud; it is time for the “progressives” to start condemning anti-Semitism and the violent attacks against the Jewish people with the same intent and vigor demonstrated in other areas of activism, “he said. tweeted Monday. “The silence was deafening.”
I’ll say the quiet part out loud; it is time for the “progressives” to start condemning anti-Semitism and the violent attacks against the Jewish people with the same intent and vigor demonstrated in other areas of activism. The silence was deafening.
– Representative Dean Phillips 🇺🇸 (@RepDeanPhillips) May 24, 2021