The United Jewish People’s Order (UJPO) joins with others in expressing our grief and anger at the recent antisemitic attacks on orthodox Jews in New York and New Jersey, as well as the defacing of a Jewish children’s camp on Gabriola Island, B.C. This rise of blatant and violent attacks on Jewish people and organizations is a cruel reminder that Jews continue to be targets of hate.
While antisemitism is of course not new, it is being encouraged and allowed to flourish by the Trump administration in the United States as well as right-wing politicians here in Canada — who are actively stoking divisions between our communities, and normalizing the open expression of racist, antisemitic, misogynistic, Islamophobic, homophobic and transphobic views and actions.
Our response is to join in solidarity with others who are the targets of hate. Rabbi Michael Adam Latz and Carin Mrotz remind us that “when we are attacked in our most vulnerable place, we often reflexively respond from where we perceive our power. When white Jews experience antisemitism, one impulse might be to respond from our whiteness, to lean into racism. We must resist those impulses.”
We also resist the manipulative misuse of the term “antisemitism” to silence criticism of the policies and actions of the State of Israel. The equation of criticism of Israel with antisemitism has become a brilliant and powerful device to silence the growing number of Jewish, and other, voices that are demanding justice for Palestinians in the face of a brutal occupation. To assume that criticism of the State of Israel is “antisemitic” is not only misleading, it is a painful disrespecting of Jewish history, of the Holocaust, and of the ways that Jews have suffered through time.
Antisemitism is real and is on the rise. We ask others to stand up for us, and we pledge our solidarity with all those who are targets of the current upsurge of hate. Our strength lies in our numbers and in our commitment to each other.