(Washington) Today, U.S. Representative Ted Deutch (FL-22), co-Chair of the House Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism and member of the Interparliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism, issued the following statement:
"Three years ago today, a white supremacist opened fire on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Three years ago today, 11 worshippers were murdered, not just because they were Jewish, but also because they came to Synagogue on a Shabbat designated to welcome immigrants and refugees. Three years ago today, our community was shaken by the deadliest incident of antisemitic violence in United States history.
"This morning, I held a press conference with my colleagues, Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23) and Chris Smith (R-NJ-4): a fellow Co-chair of the House Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism and fellow members of the Interparliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism. We came together to mark this solemn day, to examine the trends of antisemitism in the United States online in the years since, and to highlight the necessary and bipartisan next steps for Congress and the Biden Administration to combat antisemitism and prevent future violence. As I said this morning, 'antisemitism is real, it is dangerous, and it poses a growing threat not only to the Jewish community, but to all communities…We need to fight antisemitism in all its forms, wherever it comes from, [and we] share a bipartisan commitment to eradicating antisemitism on the far right and the far left.'"
"Far right antisemitism fueled the murder of 6 million Jews seven decades ago, and that same poisonous hatred took 11 lives at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh three years ago today," said Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz. "We cannot stand idly by, because silence is the oxygen that fuels antisemitism…Hatred for the Jewish people is part of the heart of what rots away our democracy."
"Unparalleled since the dark days of the Second World War, Jewish communities around the world are facing violent attacks against synagogues, schools, cultural sights, cemeteries and individuals," said Representative Chris Smith. "'Never Forget' simply can’t become one slogan among many others. It has to have real meaning. We must actively remember."
"We were joined this morning by experts from American Jewish Committee (AJC): Holly Huffnagle, U.S. Director for Combating Antisemitism, and Avi Mayer, Managing Director for Public Affairs and Senior Spokesperson, who shared critical and distressing data from AJC’s new report on the state of antisemitism in America.
"What we learned today is shocking, but not surprising. The problem of antisemitism, in the U.S. and around the world, has not faded since then—it has become even more alarming and even more urgent over the last three years. The Jewish community makes up only two percent of the American population, yet over 40 percent of the general public has witnessed an act of antisemitism or anti-Semitic content, either online or in-person. Over 30 percent has witnessed such an act more than once. It is no wonder that over 30 percent of Jews in 2021 felt the need to change their behavior to avoid antisemitic retaliation—and young Jews have been especially impacted by that fear."
"The state of Antisemitism is disturbing and should alarm all Americans," said AJC’s Avi Mayer. "The concern about antisemitism is very real, and it is causing Jews to change their behavior and alter their lives."
"Today, and every day, I am committed to taking action in Congress and working with the Biden Administration to combat antisemitism and protect the Jewish community.
Today, we remember
and Irving Younger.
May their memories be for a blessing. And may we work together to push back against hate and prevent future tragedies like this one."
Click here to view the video of today’s press conference.