Statement on Antisemitism

Dear JLSA Community,

As an organization of Jewish Lawyers, it is our duty to call out hatred, bigotry and discrimination in any form including antisemitism, racism or any of the evils that still tragically plague us. Our commitment to principles of law, as well as our Jewish identity, make standing up for our clients one and the same as standing up for people of all identities when faced with bigotry. We write today to honor this commitment and ask everyone to do their part in combating the rise in antisemitic hate and hate crimes by refusing to tolerate bigotry in any form.

Given the current national conversation around various antisemitic statements by public figures and the recent attacks against Jews in New York City, New Jersey, Pittsburgh and San Diego motivated by similar antisemitic sentiments, we would like to take this moment to acknowledge the prevalence of antisemitism in the United States. According to the latest FBI Hate Crime Statistics, 58 percent of religious hate crimes are motivated against Jews. Additionally, Jewish people are among the most likely group of people to be victimized by a hate crime. According to the Anti-Defamation League, 11 percent of Americans harbor intensely antisemitic attitudes. The number of antisemitic assaults against Jewish people has doubled each year since 2017.

Furthermore, we recognize that social media has enabled rapid dissemination of hateful speech, and emboldened individuals to openly praise antisemitic figures like Louis Farrakhan — whose antisemitic tropes were parroted by the Jersey City murderers — and other attacks against Jewish communities. Similar tropes motivated the Tree of Life synagogue and Poway Chabad shooters.

We deeply appreciate Desean Jackson and Nick Cannon’s apologies and recent effort to educate themselves about the long lasting history of Jewish persecution. We remain concerned, however, by the silent and condoning response of many other public figures. We cannot be silent when circumstances demand our voice.

We are committed to supporting our membership and the wider community of Jews. Whether our community dwells on campus or virtually, we are undivided in coming together to combat antisemitism and bigotry.

We pledge to listen even when it is difficult, to educate when it is necessary, and stand up when it is right. We pledge to be advocates for the Jewish people, to be vocal against bigotry, to uplift those who are similarly subjected to hate, and to take action against hate.

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