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The Workers Circle Speaks Out Against Trump’s Expected Executive Order on “Combating Anti-Semitism”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lynsey Billet, lynsey@anatgerstein.com, 347-361-8449

The Workers Circle Speaks Out Against Trump’s Expected Executive Order on “Combating Anti-Semitism” 

(New York) – Ann Toback, Executive Director of the Workers Circle, issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s expected executive order on “Combating Anti-Semitism”:

“For 120 years, the Workers Circle has actively combatted hatred in all its forms, not least of these is anti-Semitism. We are outraged by President Trump’s anticipated executive order that would create an overly broad definition of what constitutes anti-Semitism and would effectively interpret Judaism under federal anti-discrimination law as both a religion and a nationality. This thinly veiled attempt to censor free speech, on college campuses or elsewhere, will only divide us further as we continue to collectively pursue freedom for all people. Further, this reclassification of Judaism appears to follow anti-Semitic tropes used by white nationalists who question Jewish-American loyalty to the United States. This will serve to further isolate the Jewish people in the face of the rise of white nationalist-driven bigotry in the United States. Altogether, this executive order is going down a very dangerous path.

“At the Workers Circle, we promote freedom of expression as an essential part of a healthy society. We vehemently reject the idea that if you express legitimate opposition to Israeli government policies, you are an anti-Semite. We recognize that there are occasions when opposition to Israeli policies and Zionism crosses the line into anti-Semitism. When that happens, we have and will continue to call out those statements for what they are. But this executive order will not help us to do that.

“We cannot look to the Trump administration in our fight against hate. Trump himself frequently traffics in anti-Semitic tropes, and much of his rhetoric and policies regularly target our brothers and sisters of other religions, ethnicities, geographic origins, genders and classes in ways all too familiar to our community. As Jews, we must call out all hate, and in particular that perpetrated by the state against those it knowingly scapegoats.

“The Workers Circle will continue to stand up and speak out to realize a shenere un besere velt far ale – a better and more beautiful world for all.”