ADL Letter to Congressional Leaders Regarding the Politicization of Anti-Semitism

In a letter to Congressional leaders, ADL called for both sides to work together to stop the growing partisan weaponization of anti-Semitism, and instead work together to combat the scourge.

March 29, 2019

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Minority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Minority Leader
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy:

Over the past several weeks, the Congress has expressed that it does not countenance anti-Semitism in any way. For that, I thank you.

However, I am writing because I am concerned that the fight against anti-Semitism is becoming politicized. As the leaders of Congress, I urge you to work together to stop the growing partisan weaponization of anti-Semitism, and instead work together to combat this scourge. 

Indeed, attempts to use anti-Semitism for political gain, both within and between our political parties, risk undermining efforts to join together to combat anti-Semitic incidents and violence and other forms of hate. The use of anti-Semitism to embarrass political opponents allows anti-Semites to hide behind politics. It causes something that must remain apolitical – the fight against hate, especially anti-Semitism – to become hyper-political. The leadership of both parties, supported by strong coalitions representing different communities, must work to call out and oppose such cynical ploys.

ADL has been working with the Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism for several years and sees it as a model of how to come together to address anti-Semitism. Republicans and Democrats have chosen to use this vehicle to look for common ground in fighting this scourge. We strongly urge members of both parties in the House and the Senate to look for ways to come together, rather than work at cross purposes, in what is a real fight against a real threat targeting Americans across the political spectrum. At ADL, we can offer training, materials, and other resources to help members and their staff understand modern anti-Semitism and how to combat it.

We know the cost of unbridled hatred in our society – Christchurch, Charlottesville, Pittsburgh, and Charleston are just recent examples of the direct line between hate and violence.  As a society, and as a country, we cannot allow anti-Semitism to be used to drive a wedge between the Jewish community and other Americans, or to divide the Jewish community itself. 

ADL therefore calls on you to use your positions of leadership to call out and reject any efforts to politicize the fight against anti-Semitism and unite in a bipartisan way to combat anti-Semitism.

Sincerely,

Jonathan A. Greenblatt
CEO and National Director
Anti-Defamation League