Taking a progressive stand against the increasing sentiments of anti-semitism across the United States, 525 mayors from across the country have joined a collaborative initiative by the American Jewish Committee that aims at warding off the evils of antisemitism across the continent. Among the mayors who have signed on are Bill de Blasio of New York City, Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Lori E. Lightfoot of Chicago, Muriel Bowser of the District of Columbia, and Francis X. Suarez of Miami.
Spearheaded by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the US Conference of Mayors (USCM) the Mayors United Against Antisemitism initiative calls for condemnation of antisemitism; support for national, state, and local efforts to fight antisemitism; rejecting the claim that Israel is the reason for antisemitic acts; recognizing the need for vigilance against antisemitism and hate crimes, and affirming a climate of mutual understanding and respect.
“In a world of global communications, where antisemitic ideas spread rapidly, a concerted and principled response is required to raise awareness, to educate, and to ensure decency prevails,” said Mayors United Against Antisemitism in a statement. “As mayors and municipal leaders, we have a unique responsibility to speak out against the growing menace of antisemitism.”
David Harris, CEO of the AJC, commented, “Antisemitism is a growing societal menace, it comes from multiple sources, and mayors are uniquely positioned to lead their cities in taking concerted steps to fight it.”
According to the statement, Mayors who sign the initiative are to:
- Condemn antisemitism in all its forms, including hatred and prejudice directed toward Jews, stereotypes or conspiracy theories about Jews, Holocaust denial or distortion, and denying the Jewish people’s right to self-determination and/or the Jewish state’s right to exist;
- Support national, state, and local government efforts directed at eradicating antisemitism and preventing extremist indoctrination and recruitment; and support expanded education programs, including Holocaust programs, to counter intolerance and discrimination;
- Reject the notion that opinions about the policies, actions, or existence of the State of Israel can ever justify or excuse antisemitic acts;
- Recognize the ever-present need to be vigilant about efforts to prevent and report acts of antisemitism and other hate crimes; and
- Affirm that a climate of mutual understanding and respect among all citizens is the bedrock of pluralistic communities.