New York, NY, April 1, 2020 … ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) joined with more than 180 Jewish communal groups today in a joint statement urging political leaders and all Americans to treat the COVID-19 pandemic as a “moment for kindness and solidarity, and to make extra efforts to reach towards one another in support, not look to blame or scapegoat.”
The statement of solidarity, organized by ADL, has been signed by organizations representing a broad spectrum of national and local American Jewish organizations.
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“Jews as a people have a long history of being singled out and stigmatized during times of societal crisis, including being blamed without basis for the spread of disease,” the statement reads. “This history compels us to call on all people and particularly all leaders to reject conspiracy theories and the singling out of Asian Americans, foreigners, immigrants, Jews, or any other communities in this moment.”
As COVID-19 has spread across the U.S. and impacted almost all aspects of daily life, ADL and others have documented an alarming rise in xenophobic and racist incidents targeting members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. There has also been an effort by extremists to spread antisemitic conspiracy theories, blaming Jews for spreading and profiting off of the virus.
The statement of solidarity also urges our nation’s leaders to consistently refer to the virus by its clinical name, COVID-19, and avoid problematic descriptions that single out any one group.
“Now is the time to promote unity, to reach across the aisle in compassion, to show an extra measure of empathy toward all people, and to love our neighbors like ourselves,” the statement reads.