U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres Condemns Alarming Rise in Antisemitic Prejudice, Reaffirms Support to Jewish Community

Jan 30, 2023
In the News
Press

BRONX, NY – U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres (NY-15) today joined leadership from the ADL (AntiDefamation League) New York/New Jersey, local elected officials, and members of the Jewish faith community to condemn rising antisemitic prejudice in America, which is at historic levels according to the findings of an alarming new report.

“I am deeply alarmed and horrified to know that such a high percentage of people in this country hold such hateful and discriminatory views of the Jewish community,” said Rep. Torres. “But let me be absolutely clear. There is nothing accidental about the historic surge to which we are seeing in antisemitic prejudice and violence directed at Jewish people and institutions. It’s been entirely fueled by a constant barrage of coordinated conspiracy theories and vicious lies designed to sow division and promote intolerance. But these are not New York values, and these are not American values, and I vow to continue to do everything in my power to continue speaking out against antisemitism in all its evil forms.”

According to ADL’s Center for Antisemitism Research, antisemitic attitudes in the United States are widespread and likely increasing. It found more than 85% of Americans believe at least one anti-Jewish trope, as opposed to 61% found in 2019, and 20% of Americans believe six or more anti-Jewish tropes, which is significantly higher than the 11% found in 2019 and the highest level measured in decades.

The ADL also found that unlike in years past, young people seem to hold similar levels of belief in antiJewish tropes compared to older adults and that anti-Israel sentiment, including sentiment rooted in antisemitic conspiracy theories, is held by broad swaths of the population.

“The findings of ADL’s recently released Antisemitic Attitudes in America survey are extremely disturbing,” said Scott Richman, Regional Director, ADL NY/NJ. “They indicate that 20% of Americans believe in six or more antisemitic conspiracy theories, which is the highest level seen in decades. Although these results are not surprising, they are a sobering reminder of the pervasiveness of antisemitic beliefs. We thank Rep. Torres for joining us to shine a light on this data, which we hope will serve as a wake-up call.”

“This report reveals what we’ve been feeling all this time – that Jewish people are becoming increasingly ostracized in our society,” said NYC Council Member Eric Dinowitz. “A statistic like 85% of Americans believing at least one Jewish trope is staggering. This information should serve as a reminder that we still have much to do to combat antisemitism and should be a catalyst for change in the way we approach this issue. Education is key to undoing these incredibly harmful and dangerous biases.”

Rep. Torres also today reaffirmed his unwavering support of the Jewish community and steadfast commitment to working to fight back against hate, intolerance, and discrimination to foster understanding, education, and acceptance. In the 118th Congress, Rep. Torres is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation to award 60 U.S. diplomats with Congressional Gold Medals for bravely risking their lives and careers to help hundreds of thousands of Jewish people flee Nazi persecution during the Holocaust. He is also a proud cosponsor of the Holocaust Education and Antisemitism Lessons (HEAL) Act, which aims to improve education about the Holocaust and antisemitism in public schools across the country.

“The Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY) commends Rep. Torres for his steadfast and continuing support of the Jewish community, exemplified by this co-sponsorship of the HEAL Act,” said Gideon Taylor, CEO, JCRC-NY. “We note the alarming and horrific rise of antisemitic acts of speech and violence described in the recent ADL report. Indeed, the past year was marred by an alarming trend of antisemitic incidents taking place in the United States and around the world. To help secure both Jewish institutions and all who use them, and to serve as a security liaison between Jewish institutions and these agencies, UJA-Federation of NY and JCRC-NY established the Community Security Initiative (CSI), which helps protect Jewish institutions through security training sessions, terrorism vulnerability assessments, security equipment procurement assistance, and incident response. JCRC-NY, through its Center for Shared Society, also provides a civil network for the diverse communities of New York to thrive, where all stakeholders seek to understand each other and collaborate together. We pledge to continue to work with Rep. Torres and organizations like the ADL to protect the Jewish community and vocally combat antisemitism and hate crime.”

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