Op-Ed from Laurie Cardoza-Moore re: Anti-Semitism Awareness Act
As a concerned American and Tennessean, I am encouraging my fellow citizens state-wide to contact your state legislators and support the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act being championed in the current Tennessee legislative session by Tennessee State Senator and Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Dolores Gresham, and State House Chairman of Education Committee, Representative, Mark White.
With bi-partisan support, the bill comes in the wake of the increased antisemitic violence occurring on higher ed and K-12 campuses, as well as in communities in the U.S. in general and Tennessee specifically. In Leviticus 19:16; God commands us in the Bible; “Do not stand idly by while your neighbor’s blood is shed; I am the Lord. The Anti-Defamation League’s recent report from 2018 shows that violent incidents against Jews in the U.S. increased by 86% in 2017, the largest single yearly increase since the ADL began tracking anti-Semitic incidents. However, the report saw a slight decrease in 2018 nationwide, but saw a sharp increase in harassment and vandalism incidents in Tennessee.
From antisemitic indoctrination in our children’s K-12 textbooks to violence against Jewish students on college campuses, we must not tolerate this age-old hatred against our Jewish communities In Tennessee. We cannot afford to lose our children to hatred or wait until antisemitic vitriol and violence on Tennessee university campuses spills over into the community. In 2017 alone there were reported antisemitic incidents at Vanderbilt University, at a synagogue in Chattanooga, and at an open trail park in Johnson City. The Gordon Jewish Center in Nashville was one of the 163 Jewish institutions subjected to bomb threats tied to antisemitism in the U.S. last year.
Members of organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Muslim Students Association (MSA) on Tennessee campuses have literally deluged social media in peddling the age-old antisemitic tropes against Jews. We must continue the call for organizations like SJP and MSA to be closely monitored by authorities. These groups have often used violent attacks and intimidation tactics to push Jewish and Christian-Zionists into submission, thus suppressing their right of free speech and diminishing their right to a safe and secure educational environment.
the new challenges Israel and the Jewish people are facing during these dark days, we must with one voice as Tennesseans and as Americans say, ‘Never again!’ Thus, I am strongly urging statewide support on the passage of the Antisemitism Awareness Act in Tennessee.
President-Proclaiming Justice to The Nations