SPECIAL TO THE LEDGER
BOSTON – Spurred on by the Anti-Defamation League, the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives have passed a joint resolution sponsored by Senator Cynthia Stone Creem (D-Newton) and Representative Lori A. Ehrlich (D-Marblehead), which condemns the recent disturbing global surge in anti-Semitism and urges measures to prevent and combat anti-Semitic attacks and incidents. The joint resolution clearly delineates when opposition to a policy crosses the line into hatred and scapegoating of Jews and calls on foreign leaders who have yet to take firm action against anti-Semitism in their countries to do so.
“We commend the Massachusetts Legislature for sending a strong and unequivocal message about the Commonwealth’s resolve to confront anti-Semitism,” said Robert O. Trestan, ADL New England Regional Director. “The dramatic rise in anti-Semitism speaks to the need for expanded anti-bias and Holocaust education programs in Massachusetts to combat all forms of hate and bigotry. We deeply appreciate the leadership of the Massachusetts Legislature as well as Senator Cynthia Stone Creem and Representative Lori Ehrlich in standing up for the safety and security of Jewish communities in Massachusetts and around the world who are once again being threatened by anti-Semitic violence and intimidation.”
“In light of the frightening resurgence of anti-Semitism in Western Europe and elsewhere, I am pleased that the Massachusetts Legislature has taken this action,” said Sen. Stone Creem. “Democracies must work to confront and reverse prejudice, and prevent discrimination and violence against innocent victims. In free societies, education and remembering past tragedies like the Holocaust play a critical role in defeating fanatical anti-Semitism.”
“Anti-Semitism is bubbling up everywhere with alarming frequency making now an important time for awareness and leadership,” said Rep. Ehrlich, “There is no place in civil society for prejudice or hatred of any kind. This statewide resolution shines a light on a disturbing trend while sending a strong, unequivocal message that such behavior will not be tolerated in the Commonwealth.”
The resolution also expresses clear support by the Legislature for expanded anti-bias and Holocaust education programs in Massachusetts to combat anti-Semitism, bigotry, and hatred. ADL’s Global 100 Index of Anti-Semitism, a poll of public attitudes in more than 100 countries, recently found more than one-quarter of the world’s population harbors deeply entrenched anti-Semitic attitudes. The resolution was cosponsored by 72 Representatives and 21 Senators.
“With the increasing rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and the growing bias against Israel throughout the world, it is indeed reassuring to know that our state legislative bodies are willing to express their outrage at this reappearing dangerous phenomenon,” said Howard Borer, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Central Mass. “Our country was founded on tolerance and civility and our state’s willingness to let the Commonwealth know that anti-Semitism has no place in society is a testament to our strength as a nation.” n