Holocaust Organizations and Historians Urge Action to Preserve US Government Agency that Monitors Anti-Semitism
(New York, NY) – With reports surfacing that the President plans to defund the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, more than 100 Holocaust institutions, scholars, and educators from around the world are calling on government officials not to cut, but to maintain and strengthen the office. These institutions and individuals cite the recent examples of hatred, xenophobia, and racism spreading across the nation and ask the public to call Congressional and Senate offices.
The statement is as follows:
The undersigned Holocaust remembrance organizations, educators, and historians ask you to speak out and take action against hatred.
We are alarmed by reports that the President plans to defund the US State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, an office that tracks and counteracts anti-Semitism abroad. Ira Forman, the most recent Special Envoy in charge of that office, was our voice to a world in the throes of xenophobia and racism. He recently wrote, “Anti-Semitism is not only a Jewish problem; Jew-hatred — like other forms of religious and ethnic prejudice — is a threat to the very foundations of liberal democracies.”
We urge the US government to maintain and strengthen the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism and to create a new office to address this urgent issue domestically. The need becomes clearer by the day as hatred, like a tidal wave, sweeps across the nation. Cemeteries, synagogues, churches and mosques are being desecrated. Jewish Community Centers and schools are targets of bomb threats and shootings. Swastikas and white supremacist threats appear on walls and on social media. Now is the time to increase vigilance, not roll it back.
ACT NOW. Call Your Representatives in Congress and the Senate.
Ask them to preserve the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism and to create such an office to fight domestic anti-Semitism as well.
Senate: goo.gl/u9SBbX Congress: goo.gl/paBNA
Additional Actions You Can Take
Call your state representatives and ask them to fund educational programs designed to stop hatred and bullying — programs that build character and promote civics. Get involved with your school boards and interfaith groups. Talk to your neighbors. Rally in your town to promote tolerance and support victims of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, sexism and discrimination in all its forms.
This statement is co-authored by members of the Association of Holocaust Organizations, a network dedicated to the advancement of Holocaust education, remembrance and research.